Prime Minister moves to grant honourary Canadian citizenship to leader of democracy movement in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi

Ottawa, Ontario
17 October 2007

Prime Minister Stephen Harper tabled a motion in the House of Commons today to confer honourary citizenship status on Aung San Suu Kyi, the world-renowned advocate of freedom and democracy in Burma. The Prime Minister called upon all Members of Parliament to back the motion as a demonstration of Canada’s support for the people of Burma in their struggle against the brutal military dictatorship that rules their country.

“Our nation is built on our founding values: freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” said the Prime Minister.  “We must ally ourselves with those in the world who share our values, and especially those who are denied them.”

In early September, the latest round of pro-democracy demonstrations began in Burma. The military junta responded with a violent crackdown that left thousands imprisoned and an unknown number of people beaten, tortured and killed.

The Prime Minister said Canada has responded by joining the international community in condemning the violence and pushing for a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Burma earlier this month. 

“Ms. Suu Kyi is the living embodiment of the long struggle for freedom and democracy in her country,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The adoption of today’s motion sends a message to her, her people, and the world, that Canada stands up for the universal values that are under siege in Burma today.”

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