Aung San Suu Kyi to Receive Medal, Meet Obama

Posted September 19th, 2012 at 11:30 am (UTC-5)
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Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will receive the United States Congress' highest award Wednesday.

The Nobel laureate will be presented with the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol. She was awarded the medal in 2008 while under house arrest in her homeland.

Later, she is to meet privately with President Barack Obama.

Aung San Suu Kyi's long struggle against Burma's military leaders has received bipartisan support in Washington.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called her a “remarkably courageous woman.”

“If not for the quiet determination and simple confidence of this remarkable woman, democratic reforms might have seemed a lost cause under the Burmese junta. But in November 2010, we were all encouraged when Suu Kyi was finally released from house arrest.”

McConnell met earlier this year with Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma.

Tuesday, after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Aung San Suu Kyi said she fully supports easing the remaining U.S. economic sanctions against Burma.

She also visited the Voice of America, where she warned the path to her nation's democratic future will not be irreversible until the army voices full support for the reform process.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner said she is most troubled by the provision in Burma's constitution – drafted in 2008 by the former military junta – that allows the army to take control of government when deemed necessary.

But she also credited President Thein Sein, a former general, for launching democratic reforms in Burma after taking office last year.

Aung San Suu Kyi arrived Monday for a 17-day visit that marks her first to America since her 2010 release from military detention. Part of her trip overlaps with next week's visit by President Thein Sein, who will address the U.N. General Assembly.

Other stops on her visit include the states of California, New York and Indiana. Fort Wayne, Indiana is home to one of the country's largest Burmese-American communities.