Aung San Suu Kyi's Visit to Hawaii

Pillars of Peace Hawaii was co-host for a visit to Oahu by Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The January 2013 trip, which was Aung San Suu Kyi's first visit to the islands, enabled her to share a powerful message of courage and compassion while gaining an understanding of Hawaii’s unique culture, history, and tradition of multiethnic cooperation. Other organizations co-sponsoring this visit included Rotary International, the East-West Center, and the Myanmar Association of Hawaii.

Aung San Suu Kyi's visit gave the people of Hawaii an opportunity to learn from and engage with the well-known global peace leader through her tour of the Bishop Museum, roundtable discussion with local leaders, keynote speech to the Rotary Global Peace Forum, and talk with local high school and college students.

Pillars of Peace Hawaii hosted Aung San Suu Kyi's student talk entitled "Peace Takes Courage and Compassion," which can be viewed online here. In it, she tells Hawaii students that peace takes courage--and not just the kind you display on the battlefield, but also the courage to compromise. With honesty, humor and humility, the Nobel Peace Laureate shared her experience of living under house arrest in Myanmar for 15 years and answered a range of questions posed by young people hoping to learn from her inspirational example.

A gallery of photos from Aung San Suu Kyi's visit can be found here.

See replays of her visit here:


Aung San Suu Kyi is a Member of Parliament of the Union of Burma and is a founding member of the National League for Democracy. Early in her career, she worked in the office of the United Nations Secretariat in New York and was a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for South East Asian Studies at Kyoto University and the Indian Institute for Advanced Studies in Simla.

Following her return to Burma in 1988 and winning an election by popular vote, she was placed under house arrest until 1995, and again during 2000 to 2002 and 2003 to 2010.

Aung Sun Suu Kyi has received more than 120 awards and honors internationally, including: Nobel Peace Prize (Oslo, Norway, 1991); Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding (India, 1995); Congressional Gold Medal (USA, 2008); Honorary Canadian Citizenship Parliament Hill (Ottawa, Canada, 2008); and Legion of Honor [Ordre national de la Legion d'honneur] (France, 2012).

In Aung San Suu Kyi's Own Words:

  • "The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear."
  • "You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right."
  • "If you're feeling helpless, help someone."
  • "If you do nothing you get nothing."
  • "Freedom and democracy are dreams you never give up."
  • "More people, especially young people, are realizing that if they want change, they've got to go about it themselves."