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Posted on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

Burmese human rights advocate to conduct live Q&A tonight at U-M

By Kellie Woodhouse

Myanmar Suu Kyi-1.JPG

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center, speaks in front of paintings of herself during an art exhibition at her National League for Democracy party headquarters Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011 in Yangon, Burma.

AP Photo

The University of Michigan's 22nd Wallenberg Lecture —which takes place today at 7:30 p.m. in the school's Rackham auditorium in Ann Arbor— will be a little different this year.

Afraid to leave Burma because she might be denied re-entry, world-renown political activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi pre-recorded her speech from her home in her beleaguered developing country.

It's the first time in 22 years the lecture has not been given live.

However, Suu Kyi will be available for a live question-and-answer session via phone or Skype after her lecture is broadcasted at Rackham. The lecture won't be shown on U-M's public cable channel, but will be available on the Wallenberg website after tonight's event.

Suu Kyi received U-M's Wallenberg Medal this year. The Wallenberg Medal honors individuals who advocate on behalf of the persecuted.

Suu Kyi serves in a leadership role at the National League for Democracy, the leading opposition political party in Burma. She led her party to victory in 1990 elections, but military leaders refused to recognize the results. She has spent most of the past two decades in jail or under house arrest.

Burma has had a tumultuous history and, according to several news reports, human rights activists in the country continue to be harassed, arrested and jailed.

"Undaunted and fearless through many years of detention and efforts to intimidate her, in speaking out for democracy and human rights in Burma, Suu Kyi exemplifies ... courage and commitment to the humanitarian values," U-M said in a release.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Quite an amazing person. Will be watching the lecture later.