THE ACTRESS & THE FREEDOM FIGHTER
*LATEST NEWS… Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s pro-democracy leader, has told how the Nobel Peace Prize she won 21 years ago saved her from depths of personal despair while she was under house arrest.
Suu Kyi received two standing ovations inside Oslo’s city hall as she gave her long-delayed acceptance speech to the Norwegian Nobel Committee in front of Norway’s King Harald, Queen Sonja and 600 dignitaries.
The 66-year-old had been unable to collect the prize as she feared she would not be allowed back into her home country.
Actress Emma Thompson recently shared her diary of visiting Myanmar and meeting Suu Kyi in a Hoopla exclusive……
Oscar-winning actress and ActionAid Ambassador Emma Thompson shares her diary of visiting Myanmar with her son Tindy during one of the most exciting times in the country’s history.
Her most inspiring experience was meeting Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, who last year was freed from seven years’ house arrest and was recently elected to Parliament in the April by-elections.
While there, more than 200 other political prisoners where freed. Emma also met with many women and heard their stories of the struggle for gender equality in this fledgling democracy.
Emma, who has been a supporter of ActionAid for more than 10 years, saw how ActionAid is training young volunteers to work with some of the poorest communities – helping people to improve their lives by harnessing the power they have, both as individuals and as part of a community, to access the services and rights they need and are entitled to.
Emma travelled with her adopted son Tindy and ActionAid International Chief Executive Joanna Kerr.
In this exclusive diary extract, Emma shares her experience of meeting Aung Saan Suu Kyi with The Hoopla.
“We get back to the hotel and have 10 minutes to clean up before arriving at the British Ambassador’s Residence. There we meet various eminences and the British Ambassador who is Irish and divine. But wonder of wonders, there is the Lady (Aung Saan Suu Kyi) herself.
She enters on silent, graceful feet and there is a prolonged dipping up and down in front of each other, like a pair of albatrosses mating. I even make whooping noises.
Quiet, funny, wise and charismatic, Aung Sang Suu Kyi is everything you’d want in a modern leader. I have her to myself for a bit and we talk politics. She is very clear. “There must be no indecent haste in this process,” she says.
There is real change, she feels that strongly and it may allow her to take the stage again. She believes the president is an honourable man who wants reform and has genuine intentions. She remembers a meeting, years ago, when he was the only General who would talk to her party.
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