Aung San Suu Kyi Speaks with O‘ahu Students on Practicing Peace |
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As a part of the Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i program of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, O‘ahu public and private school students were treated to a talk today with Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall. Before the talk, student entertainers, including Moanalua High School’s Brown Bags to Stardom winner, R.I.S.K.; Castle High School’s Brown Bags to Stardom winner, Ho‘okipa; and 12-year-old singer, Ciana Pelekai wowed the crowd with their talents.
“In so many countries around the world, citizens are challenging their government’s misuse of power,” said Pam Omidyar, co-founder of the Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i program. “Daw Suu reminds us that governance is to be in the service of others, to enable them to be educated, healthy, and work towards their full potential. She has proven, like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and dear Archbishop Tutu, that love and truth can move people more strongly than fear or coercion.”
Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech focused on the theme, “Peace Takes Courage and Compassion.” During her talk she spoke to topics ranging from her imprisonment, her beliefs on peace and compassion, and the importance of the next generation to be leaders in practicing peace. Following her speech, she answered students’ questions selected from submissions prior to the event.
“Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit is a part of a series of global peace leaders who have visited our islands with the hope that they will take back what they have learned about our culture and their experiences as they work to cultivate a more peaceful society,” said Kelvin Taketa of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. “These leaders see students as being the foundation for building peace in the world. One of the hopes for the Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i program is to help give a new generation the tools and inspiration to embrace peace.”
The public was invited to tune in to a live stream of Aung San Suu Kyi’s student talk today on the Pillars of Peace website. For those who missed the live stream, the talk will be available beginning tomorrow for playback at www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org.
“The most important thing that I heard was that love is not enough, it’s compassion,” said Ayami Hatanaka, a junior at ‘Iolani School and member of the ‘Iolani Peace Institute. “There are several factors when it comes to not only creating peace, but being cooperative. Humility is the key to being a good leader and a good person.”
Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i, Rotary International, East-West Center, and the Myanmar Association of Hawai‘i are co-hosting Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to O‘ahu.
For high-resolution press photos, please visit https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nbxroxjgbz8pa6x/yMQdNhprrZ. Photos of Aung San Suu Kyi’s Pillars of Peace events will be posted to this site at the end of each day. Additionally, b-roll from all Pillars of Peace events will be available by request by contacting Lynelle Marble at the contact information listed above.
Photo credit for all images and b-roll: Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit is part of the ongoing Hawai‘i Community Foundation initiative, “Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha,” which launched in April 2012 with the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. One of the program’s goals is to bring global peace leaders to Hawai‘i to exchange ideas about the many forms of peace that exist here in the islands and around the world. Through these visits, the program hopes to spark dialogue about the roles of compassion, diversity and culture as key components for practicing peace.
In addition to hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i has sponsored peace leaders Archbishop Desmond Tutu and John Hunter, founder of the World Peace Game for students. Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i is a program funded primarily by the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, a $50 million charitable fund established in 2009 by Hawai‘i residents Pierre and Pam Omidyar.
More information about Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i can be found at www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org. For up-to-date information on Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit, follow Pillars of Peace Hawai‘i on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pillarsofpeace and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PillarsofPeace.