Hong Kong University is very special for me. The very first video conference by Skype I ever experienced was with you[i]. So, it is not just an honour, but a pleasure to accept the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from your University.
Laws mean a great deal to us at the moment. I think perhaps many of you know that very soon, my party, the National League for Democracy, will be taking part in the by-elections, that take place on the 1st of April. One of the reasons why we are taking part in these elections is because we wish to be involved in the legislative process of our country. There are many laws in Burma that are redundant, or that exist only to repress the people. These need to be changed, removed.
Then, there is also a need for laws that would help to promote the freedom and the security of our people. So, laws concern us in many ways, not just the making of laws, but the administration of laws. Rule of law is one of the foremost issues on our party election platform. Rule of law has been absent from Burma for so long that many people do not realize it has more to do with the judiciary than with the legislature. Our judiciary has not had the independence that every judiciary needs, if it is to perform its duties correctly.
So, we are, at the moment, thinking of laws in many ways, laws as part of the legislative process, laws as part of the judicial process. Only with a strong, independent, honest judiciary, and a strong, independent legislature that truly reflects the will of the people, will we be able to look on laws as a protective body for our people. That is why I am so honoured to be awarded the Degree of Doctor of Laws.
I am sorry I cannot be with you in person today, because I would so wish to visit your University and to thank you personally for all that you have done, for me, and for our cause over the years. Your support has meant a lot to us. I hope though that in the near future, it will be possible for me to travel out of Burma, and that then I will be able to come to you, and be part of your campus life, for perhaps just a very short period. But even a short period, even a matter of days, or even a matter of hours, would mean a great deal to me, as you have done so much to help the cause of democracy in Burma, simply by your interest and your enthusiastic support.
Thank you very much, and let me repeat, I look forward to the time when I can be with you in person. Thank you.
(A Message from Aung San Suu Kyi to the University of Hong Kong at the 186th Congregation for the Conferment of Honorary Degree in absentia)
To watch the video, please go to https://www4.hku.hk/hongrads/index.php/video/57 .
[i] HKU Centenary Distinguished Lecture: A Centenary Dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi, May 30, 2011