Suu Kyi receives honorary Oxford degree, meets Dalai Lama


His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Aung San Suu Kyi in London, England, on June 19, 2012.


Jeremy Russell/OHHD

Aung San Suu Kyi’s celebrated tour of Europe continued in England today when she received her honorary degree from Oxford and met the Dalai Lama.

Suu Kyi said her time in Oxford provided the strength she needed to persevere during years of house arrest in Myanmar.

“During the most difficult years, I was upheld by memories of Oxford: those were among the most important inner resources that helped me to cope with the all the challenges I had to face,” Suu Kyi said, according to The Guardian.

Suu Kyi left Oxford and her now-deceased husband, author and academic Michael Aris, and their two children to care for an ailing mother in Myanmar 24 years ago.

After being caught in political turmoil there, she was placed under house arrest for 15 years.

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She studied philosophy, economics and politics at Oxford during the late 1960s, and later raised her family there.

Oxford awarded her an honorary degree in law in 1993, but she couldn't accept it until today.

Myanmar's government is attempting to accept democratic reforms and project more open government.

“The most important thing that I learned was respect for all of civilization,” Suu Kyi said, The Associated Press reported.

Suu Kyi is on her first trip to Europe since she was released.

She also stopped in Switzerland and France, and accepted her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on June 16.

On Tuesday, the 67-year-old leader of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy met with the Dalai Lama.

The exiled Tibetan leader issued a message and photo today on his website.

“I have real admiration for your courage. I am very happy we’ve been able to meet,” he told her.

The 76-year-old Dalai Lama, himself on an English tour, also issued a photo of their meeting through Twitter.

On Thursday, Suu Kyi is to address Parliament at Westminster Hall.

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