Bury St Edmunds: Students meet Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi
THREE students from a school in Bury St Edmunds have enjoyed the “once in a lifetime opportunity” of meeting Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi.
Lower sixth students Sam Malcolm, Sam Mortimer and Grace O’Brien from King Edward VI School travelled to London for the unforgettable experience on Monday.
There, they joined a Whitehall reception where they had the chance to meet the Nobel peace laureate and talk to her one on one. There was also a lunch, a question and answer session with Ms Suu Kyi and she gave a half an hour speech “from the heart”.
King Edward VI School was the only school in the UK to be chosen to attend by the British Council.
Miss Mortimer described meeting the Burmese opposition leader as a “thrilling experience”.
She said Ms Suu Kyi shook their hands and spoke to each of them. She said they talked about school exchange programmes and education.
She said: “To be honest I was just in awe of this fantastic lady standing in front of me. I have still got my name badge. That’s in my box of special things I will keep for ever.
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“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity I have had the fortune of having.”
During the question and answer session Miss O’Brien asked Ms Suu Kyi how politically active the young people in Burma are.
Miss Mortimer said: “I don’t think we realise how much say we do actually have and Aung San Suu Kyi was saying the young people in Burma are very interested in politics and are politically active.”
She added how she also told how under their military rule the Burmese people were taught not to question anything, and now with hopefully bringing in democracy it was about encouraging learning and asking questions.
King Edward VI headteacher, Geoff Barton, said: “I feel incredibly proud of the fact that we were chosen as the only school in the UK to attend this prestigious event, and similarly proud of the way the students represented us. It was an event they will remember forever.”
He added: “Our school is committed to international work, to debate and helping students to understand a rapidly-changing world.”
Miss Mortimer said all three of the students had a strong interest in human rights.