Olof Palme Prize 2005 to Myanmar's "Iron Butterfly", Aung San Suu Kyi Print E-mail

Democratic Voice of Burma -- January 31 2006

 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is awarded the Olof Palme Prize 2005 for her unyielding fight for a democratic Burma.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is an outstanding example of the efforts to attain democracy by the people of Burma, where respect for human rights, ethnic unity, and a life in peace remain only a dream. To her compatriots she is known as the "Iron Butterfly",
a name alluding both to her peaceful struggle and her courage and strength of character. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has devoted her life to Burma, and is a stubborn believer in the final victory of its peoples' will.

 To peoples around the world fighting oppression, she is an important symbol of peaceful opposition to repressive power.

Facts about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is an activist for democracy and was awarded, in absentia, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. She was born on June 19th, 1945 to Burma's independence hero, Aung San, who was assassinated in 1947, when she was only two years old.

When she returned to Burma in 1988, General Ne Win stepped down as Chairman of the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) after 26 years, triggering a pro-democracy movement which the military junta violently crushed.

Inspired by Mahatma Ghandi's principles of non-violence, she became deeply involved in politics and was placed under house arrest.

Unable to maintain its grip on power, the regime was forced to call a general election in 1990. Despite her continuing detention, The National League for Democracy (NLD), with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as general secretary, won a landslide victory in the general elections but the military junta has yet not recognised the results of the election.

While studying at Oxford University, she met Michael Aris whom she married in 1972. They have two sons (born in 1973 and 1977). On March 27 1999, while Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was in Burma, Michael Aris died of cancer in London. He had petitioned the Burmese authorities to allow him to visit Suu Kyi one last time, but they rejected his request. He had not seen her since a Christmas visit in 1995. The government always urged Suu Kyi to join her family abroad, but she knew that she would not be allowed to return.

She is now in her eleventh year of detention. Her phone line is cut and her post is intercepted. Armed soldiers behind a barricade of barbed wire turn away any visitors.

The Olof Palme Prize is awarded annually for an outstanding achievement chosen by the Fund’s Board. The prize consists of a diploma and 50.000 US dollars.

A prize ceremony will be held in Stockholm, February 28th, 2006. Dr. Sein Win, the Prime Minister of the exile Government of Burma, will receive the prize on behalf of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

For comments and more information about the Prize, please contact the Fund’s Board member Anita Klum on telephone +46 73 069 43 31, or Board member Joakim Palme on telephone +46 70 399 03 54, or contact the office at+ 46 8677 57 90 or e-mail

Previous receivers of the Olof Palme Prize are:

1987 Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa.

1988 Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, UN Secretary General.

1989 Václav Havel, Czechoslovakia.

1990 S.O.S. Racisme and Harlem Désir, France,

1991 Amnesty International.

1992 Arzu Abdullayeva, Armenia, and Anahit Bayandour, Azerbajdzjan.

1993 Students for Sarajevo.

1994 Wei Jingsheng, China.

1995 Fatah Youth, Labour Young Leadership and Peace Now.

1996 Casa Alianza, Central America, under the leadership of Bruce Harris.

1997 Salima Ghezali, Algeria.

1998 Independent Media in Former Yugoslavia, represented by Veran Matic, Serbia, Senad Pecanin, Bosnia and Viktor Ivancic, Croatia.

1999 Swedish anti-racists, Kurdo Baksi, Björn Fries and the Parent Group in Klippan, Sweden.

2000 Bryan Stevenson, Director of Equal Justice Inititative (EJI), USA.

2001 Fazle Hasan Abed, Bangladesh, founder of BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee).

2002 Hanan Ashrawi, Palestine.

2003 Hans Blix, Sweden.

2004 Ljudmila Aleksejeva, Sergej Kovaljov, Anna Politkovskaya, Russia.

Olof Palme was Prime Minister in Sweden between the years 1969-1976 and 1982-1986. He was instrumental in the democratisation of education and in the development of the Swedish social welfare system. His international interest and commitment made him known and esteemed both in Sweden and abroad. He actively supported the dissident movement during the communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe, the resistance against dictatorships in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Chile as well as against the apartheid system in South Africa, and was one of the first to oppose the wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan. He was assassinated in 1986.

“His visions knew no national boundaries” said Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, the then UN Secretary General, at the funeral of Olof Palme in Stockholm on the 15th of March 1986.

The Olof Palme Memorial Fund was established by Olof Palme's family and by the Social Democratic Party to honour Olof Palme's memory. The Fund's purpose is, through scholarships and grants, to give opportunities to young people for international exchange and for studies of peace and disarmament, to support work against racism and hostility toward immigrants and to foster in other ways work for international understanding and common security.

For further information please visit: www.palmefonden.se.


Pierre Schori Chairman

Olof Palmes Minnesfond Box 836 101 36 Stockholm Tel: 08-677 57 90 Fax: 08-677 57 71 www.palmefonden.se

The Olof Palme Memorial Fund Box 836 101 36 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46-8-677 57 90 Fax: +46-8-677 57 71 www.palmefonden.se

The Deccan Herald -- Tuesday January 31 2006
Palme Prize for Suu Kyi
Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi was on Monday named winner of the Olof Palme Prize 2005 for her struggle to restore democracy in her country. The prize worth $50,000 was created 1987 in memory of the late Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, who was slain 1986.

The Palme Prize jury lauded Suu Kyi for "her unyielding fight for a democratic Burma."

The jury added that she was "an important symbol of peaceful opposition to repressive power" for people fighting oppression in the world.

Suu Kyui won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, the year after her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won general election which the military junta has not recognised.

Suu Kyi, 60, has spent most of the past 16 years in prison or under house arrest, since first being detained in 1989. Last November, the junta extended her house arrest by six months.

Sein Win, the leader of the exile government, was scheduled to accept the Palme prize on behalf of Suu Kyi in Stockholm on February 28.