Champion of democracy honored in Paris | News | DW | 27.06.2012
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Champion of democracy honored in Paris

Myanmar champion of democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, rounds up her five-country tour of Europe in France, by becoming an honorary citizen of Paris.

On Wednesday, Suu Kyi was finally able to receive her 2004 honary citizen of Paris plaque, in a meeting with Paris mayor Bertand Delanoe.

"You are a woman of peace and love, and this is why Paris also loves you," Delanoe said, acknowledging her "tenacity" and "unshakeable faith" while striving for democracy in the country once known as Burma.

In a statement delivered in French, Suu Kyi hailed "the deep attachment of Paris to justice and freedom."

"I was surprised and happy that Paris supported my cause with such vigour," she added.

In 2007 Paris' town hall paid tribute to Suu Kyi and her cause by hanging a huge portrait of her outside the building.

Suu Kyi told political prisoners not to give up fighting, "you must not let go of your principles. If you respect yourself you do not give up your fight."

Yevhenia Tymoshenko, daughter of jailed former Ukrainian premier Yulia Tymoshenko was in attendance to see her receive the accolade, as was Pavel Khodorkovsky, son of imprisoned former businessman and rival of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Wrapping up her five-nation euro-tour in Paris, Suu Kyi was treated with honors normally bestowed upon heads of state, and royalty, dining at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday with President Francois Hollande, who vowed his country would support Myanmar's transition towards democracy.

A celebrity figure, she has been cheered by crowds and leaders over the past two weeks, her first visit to Europe in a quarter of a century. The 67-year-old, has visited Switzerland, Norway, Ireland, Britain and now France.

Her European trip also allowed her to make her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo.

jlw/av (AFP, Reuters, AP)