UK & World News
Aung San Suu Kyi: I Won't Stop Campaigning
Aung San Suu Kyi has pledged to continue campaigning for democracy in her acceptance speech for a Nobel Peace Prize she won while under house arrest 21 years ago.
The honour helped shatter her sense of isolation and ensured the world took notice of the injustices in her military-controlled homeland, the Burmese campaigner said.
"Often during my days of house arrest, it felt as though I were no longer a part of the real world," she said in her address to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, dignitaries, royals and Burmese exiles.
"What the Nobel Peace Prize did was to draw me once again into the world of other human beings, outside the isolated area in which I lived, to restore a sense of reality to me."
She added: "And what was more important, the Nobel Prize had drawn the attention of the world to the struggle for democracy and human rights in Burma."
Ms Suu Kyi, who has campaigned for democracy since 1988, looked emotional as she received two standing ovations from the crowd in Oslo's City Hall.
Since being freed earlier this year, Ms Suu Kyi has led her National League for Democracy party into opposition in Burma's parliament and seen sweeping changes in the South East Asian country.
"My party, the National League for Democracy, and I stand ready and willing to play any role in the process of national reconciliation," she said.
But although the Burmese government has signed ceasefires with ethnic rebels, Ms Suu Kyi pointed to continued bloodshed and said progress depended on continued pressure from foreign powers.
"Hostilities have not ceased in the far north," she said.
"To the west, communal violence resulting in arson and murder were taking place just several days before I started out on the journey that has brought me here today."
She added: "If I advocate cautious optimism, it is not because I do not have faith in the future, but because I do not want to encourage blind faith."
Following her speech, the head of the European Commission hailed her "extraordinary achievements" that "gave hope to millions."
Jose Manuel Barroso said Burma was was being "courageously led by President U Thein Sein."
He went on: "We hope that reforms will continue and deepen as the country's challenges in what regards national reconciliation are still important."
Offering praise on "this special day", Mr Barroso said: "I salute the fantastic transition her country has embarked upon.
"The European Union will continue to support her and will assist her country on the journey to its place in the family of nations."