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Aung San Suu Kyi shines spotlight on democracy as she receives Sakharov Prize

Aung San Suu Kyi shines spotlight on democracy as she receives Sakharov Prize
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Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is urging Europe to help the Myanmar achieve full democracy.

Under house arrest when the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was awarded to her in 1990, Suu Kyi finally collected it at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

“It is more important that we work on the imperfections of societies and of laws and of practices that truly hurt us as human beings, that erode the foundation of human dignity. It is because of this that we feel our quest for democracy is not yet at an end!” Suu Kyi said during her acceptance speech.

Suu Kyi’s party won all but two of the seats available in Myanmar’s parliament in November 2010, but she says the country’s government needs to continue with its reform programme.

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz presented Suu Kyi with the Sakharov Prize. He told euronews: “The speech she gave today in the house shows that democracy is always at risk – nothing can be taken for granted! Therefore the appeal to us, is not only to look at democracy in her country, but all over in the world! This is a very important message!”

Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest, during which time she received the Nobel Peace Prize as well as the EU’s Sakharov Prize.

The pro-democracy campaigner is a on two-week tour of Europe to gather support for reforms in Myanmar – particularly to the country’s constitution.