President George W. Bush sent a message of congratulations to Aung San Suu Kyi for winning the 2002 Al Neuharth 2002 Free Spirit Award presented by Freedom Forum in Washington on April 24.
Here is the full text of the President's message:
The White House April 14, 2003
I send greetings to those gathered for the annual Freedom Forum award ceremony. Congratulations to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as you receive the Al Neuharth Free Spirit of the Year Award for you dedication to advancing freedom.
There are moments in history when great people emerge to shine a bright light on a dark parth. Aung San Suu Kyi is such a person. As the elected leader of the Burmese people, a Nobel Laureate, a mother, and a human rights advocate, Aung San Suu Kyi is an inspiration to the people of Burma and an example for those around the world who strive for freedom and the non-negotiable demands of human dignity. In the face of great challenges, she continues to seek justice and make sacrifices to ensure freedom for the Burmese people.
For her steadfast courage, Aung San Suu Kyi has earned the admiration and friendship of the United States and other countries committed to freedom. The United States continues to recognize the results of the 1990 elections and supports her goals to restore democracy and national reconciliation through effective political dialogue with the ruling military regime. These efforts will help secure the freedoms that the Burmese people, and all people, deserve.
I commend Aung San Suu Kyi and all of this year's Freedom Forum award recipients for their work to protect the democratic values that enhance the quality of life for countless individuals and create a brighter future for all.
Laura joins me in sending our best wishes.
(signed) George Bush