Aung San Suu Kyi and Bono joined forces today as the Myanmar democracy activist’s European tour moved from the home of the Nobel Peace Prize to the land of U2.
The pair spent more than an hour answering questions at an Oslo conference of peace mediators at the end of Suu Kyi’s four-day visit to Norway. Then they jetted together to the Irish capital, Dublin, for an evening concert in her honor.
Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore and a trio of children, two of them Burmese nationals, offered Suu Kyi flowers as she arrived at Dublin Airport. Several thousands excited well-wishers, ranging from Irish glitterati to virtually Ireland’s entire Burmese community, awaited her arrival at a dockside Dublin theater.
Gilmore called the Dublin celebrations, involving actress Vanessa Redgrave and the Riverdance troupe, “a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the warmth and affection in which this remarkable and courageous woman is rightly held by the Irish people.”
Suu Kyi, in turn, said Bono had hit the right note with “Walk On,” which was written from the point of view of her husband Michael Aris. Myanmar’s military rulers refused to let him see his wife from 1995 to his death from cancer in 1999.
At the Dublin concert, called “Electric Burma,” Bono is scheduled to unveil Amnesty International’s top prize, the Ambassador of Conscience, an award for Suu Kyi that the singer announced at a Dublin U2 concert in 2009. Suu Kyi was finally released from house arrest the following year.
Also at the Dublin concert, Suu Kyi is to receive an honorary doctorate from Trinity College Dublin. Afterward at an outdoor ceremony, she’s to sign the roll of honor proclaiming her a Freewoman of the City of Dublin, an honorific title bestowed in her absence in 1999.