The Profiles in Courage Award 1997.

For the year 1997 The Kennedy Society has decided to award John F. Kennedy’s book “Profiles in Courage” to Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma for courage in the last decade.
She has shown courage to follow the legacy from her father and is a great example to people throughout the world in civil courage and commitment to human rights. She has done what she must in accordance with John F. Kennedy’s words in “Profiles in Courage” – “in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures.” Thus she has been prepared – supported by her family – to take up President John F. Kennedy’s challenge in 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
When Aung San Suu Kyi went to Burma in 1998 to look for her mother, she committed herself – in the words of Abraham Lincoln – to demand “a government of the people, by the people and for the people.” By demanding freedom and reconciliation for her people by non-violent means she has shown the courage – also shown by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. In her message to the NGO-Forum of Women at the UN Conference in Beijing August 31, 1995 she identified the real link between security and peace in the words: “Unsecure persons are very easy intolerant and their intolerance provoke powers, their can be a threat to the security of others. And where security don’t rest, there can be no lasting peace.” In a television program in 1996 by John Pilger “Inside Burma” she courageously said: “If the secretary of the local SLORC can order its men to shoot down people without any real cause, it means there is something very wrong with the system.” She and her people’s commitment – since the elections in 1990 – to restore democracy in Burma recalls the words of her fellow countryman U Thant, Secretary General of the UN, who said in Sweden in 1962: “If the UN is to maintain the rule of law…” nations must accept “the renunciation of the threat and use of force as an instrument of policy.” Just as Robert F. Kennedy said in 1961: “In the United Nations we are striving to establish the rule of law instead of the rule of force.”
In an interview in 1996 with Christian Balslev-Olesen, Secretary General of DanChurchAid Aung San Suu Kyi challenged all Christians: “A true Christian only fears the anger of God and none other.”
She also challenged every one committed to human rights in her answer to the Danish author, Herbert Pundik in 1996: “Our friends have to ask what can we do – not to ask what other people are doing.”