Haunted by past, Suu Kyi receives Oxford doctorate
By Maria Golovnina
OXFORD (Reuters) - Hardened by decades of political struggle, Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi confronted emotional scars of a different kind on Wednesday when she received an honorary degree from Britain's Oxford University where she once studied and fell in love.
Having spent most of the last two decades under house arrest, the Nobel laureate has been greeted as a hero on her visit to Britain this week after being released by Myanmar's rulers and allowed to travel abroad.
Smiling gently in a purple robe, she received an honorary doctorate in a solemn ceremony conducted in Latin, collecting in person a degree awarded to her in 1993 when she was still under house arrest.
"Today has been a very moving day for me," she told a packed audience of dignitaries clad in full academic dress, her quiet voice echoing off the walls of Oxford's Sheldonian Theatre.
"Moving because I found that the past is always there. It never goes away," she added, speaking beneath a vast ceiling painting depicting the triumph of truth over ignorance.
Before taking up her fight for democracy, Suu Kyi studied at Oxford and settled down in the shadow of its gothic spires and towers in the 1980s with her husband, an English scholar of Tibetan culture, and their two sons.
"In my old college, at St Hugh's, I could recognize every bit of it, even though there are very many new buildings," said Suu Kyi, the daughter of Myanmar's slain independence leader.
"Yet it has merged into the old, in such a harmonious picture of the old and the new, standing together as a promise for the future." Continued...