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Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier presented the Certificate of Honorary Citizenship for Burmese democracy movement leader Aung San Suu Kyi to her cousin, Sein Win, in a ceremony on Parliament Hill on May 5.

Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Prize winner and leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma, is the fourth person to receive this prestigious award and the first female. The three other recipients are Raoul Wallenberg, Nelson Mandela, and Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. 

Sein Win, prime minister of the exiled National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, now lives in Washington, D.C. Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest in Rangoon.

The October 16, 2007, Speech from the Throne stated that the government would “immediately call upon Parliament to confer honorary citizenship on Aung San Suu Kyi.” A motion conferring this honorary citizenship was passed by the House of Commons with all-party agreement on October 17.

“The presentation of this honorary Canadian citizenship is a testament to Canada’s long-standing respect and admiration for Aung San Suu Kyi’s tireless struggle for freedom and democracy in Burma,” said a statement from the Canadian Friends of Burma.

CFOB is a non-governmental organization working for democracy and human rights in Burma. Visit www.cfob.org.