Saturday, May 3, 2008

Detained Suu Kyi to be made honorary Canadian citizen

OTTAWA — Canada will grant honorary citizenship to Myanmar's detained dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday in recognition of her long struggle for democracy, and those who pressed for the honour hope that images of the ceremony will make it to her homeland in outlawed broadcasts.

Ms. Suu Kyi has spent much of the past 18 years in detention and under house arrest in Myanmar, also known as Burma, since the military junta cancelled the results of a 1990 election won by her National League for Democracy.

Her cousin Sein Win, the Washington-based chairman of the NLD's government in exile, will accept the honorary citizenship from Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier.

The timing of the event was set solely because of schedules and logistics, a Foreign Affairs official said, although it happens to come just before a May 10 referendum on a new constitution drafted by Myanmar's military regime.

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