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Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Awards Daw Aung San Suu Kyi


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10 Feb 2015

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Pro-democracy politician Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has joined The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) as an Honorary Fellow.

Daw Suu, who is leader of Myanmar’s main opposition party and was held as a political prisoner for 15 years between 1989 and 2010, is recognised as one of the world’s leading proponents of democratic freedom.

The Nobel Prize winner met with representatives from the 510-year-old College recently to be gowned and sworn-in as an Honorary Fellow.

RCSEd President Mr Ian Ritchie said: “It was a great privilege to award an Honorary Fellowship to such a distinguished recipient, whose standing as a globally recognised figurehead for freedom and democracy is unparalleled. In discussion after the ceremony we spoke of the struggle for change in politics and in many other areas of life. We agreed that one of the greatest challenges is changing culture and mindset, which is a slow process with no fixed timetable. Aung San Suu Kyi spoke of the poverty in the country and how the people of Myanmar deserve to be more prosperous.”

The Honorary Fellowship is the College’s highest honour and only very rarely is it made to non-surgeons, but the surgeons made the award to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in recognition of her contribution to healthcare in Myanmar.

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Above: The College's delegation met Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on 16 January in Naypyidaw

Explaining more about why the College’s representatives travelled to Myanmar to present the award, RCSEd Council Member Dr Judy Evans said: “We know that Daw Suu’s Nobel Prize money and many other donations have been used to fund healthcare projects and everyday improvements for the people of Myanmar. We are also aware that her personal energy is now leading others in such projects as the regeneration of Rangoon General Hospital, and the establishment of an international standard centre of excellence for both medicine and surgery.”

The College has over 200 Fellows and Members in Myanmar and visits the country annually to hold exams and training events.


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