Washington, Feb. 7 (Reuters): The US-based Freedom Forum foundation said yesterday it had awarded a $1 million “Free Spirit” prize to Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for her advocacy of democracy in military-ruled Myanmar.
Charles Overby, chairman of the foundation, said it was the first time the full $1 million available for the annual prize, awarded since 1992, would be given to a single person.
“This is a personal gift to her,” Overby told a Washington news conference. “She is free to use the money as she sees fit and in any way she wants to.”
Overby and Al Neuharth, founder of the Forum, travelled to Yangon to tell Suu Kyi of the award.
Neither Overby nor Neuharth would discuss details of how they were able to visit Suu Kyi, an Opposition leader released only in May 2002 from 19 months of house arrest.
They also would not say how they would transfer the money to her.
“But I assure you that it will happen,” Neuharth said.