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Aung San Suu Kyi in live discussion with students of the Hertie School

Berlin, 12 May 2011 - Students of the Hertie School of Governance had the unique opportunity to discuss the future of Burma with pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi. On Tuesday 10 May 2011 Aung San Suu Kyi's voice could be heard on the Hertie School campus in Berlin as she highlighted the liberation of political prisoners, the establishment of an independent judiciary and greater participation in the political process as key issues that Burma faces on its path to democratisation.

Aung San Suu Kyi joined the discussion via a live audio link from her home in Burma. She spoke frankly about the lack of meaningful change in her country since the most recent elections; and shared about her movement's efforts to change the minds of the Burmese people in order to facilitate real and lasting political change.

The increasing involvement of the youth in Burma's political process was emphasised by Aung San Suu Kyi as an important development; and she underlined the necessity of education and a strong civil society in creating a climate in which people are empowered to take ownership of the political process.

In terms of the role of the international community Aung San Suu Kyi called for a coordinated approach to the Burma question; as well as carefully targeted development aid that supports civil society and empowers people to become more independent from the government.

Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest on 13 November 2010 and has since actively prioritised engaging in dialogue with young people across the globe. She approached the Hertie School and expressed interest in having a discussion with the institution's international student body. Aung San Suu Kyi and her helpers participated in the event at great personal risk. Thus the Hertie School was requested to make all preparations for this event as discreetly as possible.

A panel featuring Patrick Gilroy (Student, Hertie School), Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (Professor of Democracy Studies, Hertie School), Corina Murafa (Student, Hertie School), Adrienne Woltersdorf (Head of Chinese Department, DW), and moderated by Melinda Crane (DW-TV) steered the discussion with Aung San Suu Kyi. A discussion of this nature had only been hosted once to date with students of the London School of Economics and Political Science in December 2010.

The event was hosted in cooperation with Deutsche Welle-TV and will be broadcast on DW-TV in the coming week.

Event Photo Gallery: www.hertie-school.org

The Hertie School prepares exceptional students for leadership positions in government, business, and civil society. The School also offers experienced professionals the opportunity to deepen their skills in the field of public management. A renowned international faculty with expertise in economics, business, law, political and social science take an interdisciplinary, policy-oriented approach to the School's teaching and research agenda. The Hertie School is an international centre, with a variety of first-rate academic projects and a diverse student body. The School actively engages in public debate with its wide range of events bringing together experts from theory and practice.

For more information please contact: Regine Kreitz, Head of Communications, Phone: 030 / 259 219 113, Fax: 030 / 259 219 444, Email: pressoffice@hertie-school.org

idw :: 12.05.2011