(AFP) – May 24, 2012
LONDON — Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is to be awarded an honorary doctorate by Britain's prestigious Oxford University, her alma mater announced Thursday.
The democracy icon will receive a doctorate in civil law on June 20 -- a day after her 67th birthday, before addressing both houses of the British parliament the following day in an honour bestowed on only a few world leaders.
The Nobel peace laureate was awarded an honorary degree by Oxford in April 1993 but, due to her lengthy imprisonment, has been unable to receive it in person.
"We are delighted that Daw Suu is finally able to return to the university and are looking forward greatly to what will be a very special occasion," said Oxford vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Hamilton.
Suu Kyi read philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford's St Hugh's College from 1964 to 1967 and settled in the southern English city with her husband before returning to Myanmar in 1988.
She has spent much of the last two decades locked up in her Yangon home by Myanmar's former junta.
However, Suu Kyi has now been issued with a passport and will be travelling next week to Bangkok in her first trip abroad in 24 years.
Myanmar's relations with the international community have thawed rapidly since a nominally civilian government took over from the junta, and subsequent elections on April 1 gave Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy 43 seats in parliament.
British Prime Minister David Cameron last month became the first Western leader in decades to visit Myanmar, and invited Suu Kyi to come to Britain.
Others receiving honorary degrees at the June 20 ceremony include author John Le Carre and former MI5 spy chief Eliza Manningham-Buller.
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