Myanmar democracy leader honored with Congressional Medal

September 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Congress gave its highest honor to a woman who has spent decades fighting for freedom against an oppressive government in her homeland.

Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar accepted the Congressional Gold Medal from leaders of both parties on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Suu Kyi spent several years under house arrest before being freed in 2010. Her party has pushed for democracy in Myanmar, which used to be known as Burma.

"From the depths of my heart, I thank you, the people of America and you the representatives for keeping us in your hearts and minds during the dark years when freedom and justice seemed beyond our reach," said Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi won election to Myanmar's parliament in April, but she has little clout in a legislature dominated by the military. Suu Kyi will speak at the University Of San Francisco on Sept. 29. Her trip to the U.S. will also include a visit with Burmese dissidents living in Indiana.