Hampstead actress Emma Thompson meets Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma
11:00 28 October 2011
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Hampstead actress Emma Thompson is campaigning to raise human rights awareness in Burma after meeting newly-liberated pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Oscar-winning actress spoke to the democracy leader almost a year after she was freed from 15 years of house arrest.
Thompson, who has campaigned for human rights in the Middle East in the past, travelled to Burma this month with her adopted son Tindy, as the country finally begins to relax its censorship laws and release political prisoners
She said: “Meeting Aung San Suu Kyi was a remarkable experience. She’s an extraordinary woman and with a resilient, wise, witty, dignity.
“Fascinated by the arts, we talked a lot about films and books and, very perspicacious as you might imagine, about the political movement in her country, what’s really happening – very cautious but optimistic.”
She continued: “The phrase she used to me about what was happening now was ‘it is very important that we do not proceed with indecent haste’. And I thought that was incredibly telling, redolent and right.”
Burma has had a military-led government since 1962.
But recent elections and the appointment of a new president have seen the release of some political prisoners, the easing of censorship, and a greater sense of hope for the future.
Thompson was in the country as an ambassador for Action Aid, a charity working to help women and young people in some of the country’s poorest communities.