Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to visit Prague in September
Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi will visit Prague in mid-September, where she has accepted an invitation to address Forum 2000, a conference bringing together leading world thinkers and freedom fighters in support of democracy and civil society. Forum 2,000, established by the late Czech president Vaclav Havel, consistently invited the Burmese dissident leader to its meetings as a show of support in the years when she was under house arrest and did what it could to highlight her fight for democracy. Forum 2,000 director Jakub Klepal says he is delighted to finally be able to welcome her at the conference in person.
The late president would obviously be extremely pleased that this has come about. I understand that the two of them never met and he even considered visiting her in disguise when she was under house arrest in Burma, is that right?
“Yes, that’s right. It emerged as a joke, this crazy idea that he had at one point but he abandoned it very quickly because he realized how difficult it would be and how complicated it might be for her. But, yes, as I said, he closely followed her case and her life, he was in touch with her, he wrote her letters and she was inspired by him –so it was a long-distance friendship, I would say.”
The theme of this year’s conference –Societies in Transition – is highly topical. Who are your other VIP guests?