Monday, October 28, 2013


Yesterday a heroine of mine and, I am sure, of many readers of this blog, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, arrived in Rome for a series of meetings as part of her European tour.  "The lady", as she is often called, is a heroine here, too and I would like to add my voice to the many that have welcomed her to Italy.

Aung San Suu Kyi first travelled to the Campidoglio where she received, 19 years late, the scroll that makes her an honorary citizen of Rome. This honour was awarded to her in 1994 but, as she was under house arrest at the time, she was unable to accept it in person. At last, yesterday, it was presented to her by Mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino and one of his predecessors, Francesco Rutelli. In her acceptance speeech, Aung San Suu Kyi remembered visiting Rome as a student 40 years ago, when she had been very impressed by the friendliness of the people. She had enjoyed the gelato, too! Mr Marino told her that Rome would always be with her and that the world needs people like her. 

"The lady" also received the Rome Peace Prize and Roberto Baggio, who had accepted it on her behalf in 2007, was visibly moved.  He said that Aung San Suu Kyi's battles for freedom had not only changed the destiny of her own people, but also the everyday lives of others.

This morning Prime Minister Letta received Aung San Suu Kyi at the Palazzo Chigi and assured her of his full support in her work to advance Burma's transition to democracy, particularly with regard to the constitutional reforms that will be necessary.  Mr Letta thanked "the lady" for her tireless fight for democracy and freedom and invited her to Expo 2015 as food security, one of the themes of the festival, is of interest to her. She accepted the invitation with pleasure.

Later "the lady" discussed human rights and religious freedom in a private audience with Pope Francis and afterwards met President Napolitano, Foreign Minister Emma Bonino, President of the Senate Pietro Grasso and Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies.

The Eternal City loves you, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Please come again soon!


Lee said...

She certainly is one very special Lady.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I echo that, Lee.

Whispering Walls said...

Hurrah for her!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, indeed, WW.


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