LONDON: Aung San Suu Kyi landed in Ireland on Monday, with U2 star Bono by her side for a flying visit on her European tour that was to see her pick up a prize honouring her unwavering commitment to human rights.
Myanmar's democracy icon flew into Dublin with the Irish singer on his private jet, after the pair co-hosted a panel at a peace forum in Oslo, where Suu Kyi has herself received a rock star welcome from crowds of thousands.
"I'm star-struck," said Bono, who has long supported the Nobel peace laureate's freedom struggle and dedicated the song "Walk On" to her, in a press conference before they left Norway.
The rocker turned activist added: "She made a real connection with our audience... telling them that their voices were powerful and that they could be heard all the way to Burma."
An emotional Suu Kyi delivered her Nobel lecture at Oslo City Hall on Saturday, more than two decades after receiving the peace prize awarded to her in 1991 for her "non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights".
She was unable to accept it at the time, as she was under house arrest and feared that the regime would bar her from returning to her country.
At the "Electric Burma" concert hosted by Amnesty International later, Bono was to present Suu Kyi with the rights group's most prestigious prize, the Ambassador of Conscience Award.
The U2 frontman was set to perform at the concert, along with artists from around the world including fellow rock star activist Bob Geldof, Benin singer Angelique Kidjo, US rapper Lupe Fiasco, and Ireland's Riverdance troupe.
Thousands of people are expected at an open-air event outside the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, where Suu Kyi will be given the Freedom of the City of Dublin some 12 years after she was named for the honour.
She is expected to address the crowds, who will sing "happy birthday" to her, a day before she turns 67.
Irish President Michael D. Higgins is also due to welcome Suu Kyi on her whistle-stop visit to the republic.
After visiting Ireland, her 17-day European tour takes her to Britain on
After celebrating her birthday, she will pick up an honorary degree on Wednesday from the prestigious Oxford University, where she studied and lived for several years with her late English husband, Michael Aris.
On Thursday, Suu Kyi is to address both houses of parliament in London in a rare honour for a foreign dignitary, as well as meet Prime Minister David Cameron and other public figures.
Suu Kyi's tour, which also takes in Switzerland and France, is her first
trip to Europe for 24 years.
It has been clouded by continued violence in western Myanmar where dozens of people have been killed and more than 30,000 people displaced by clashes between Buddhist Rakhines and stateless Muslim Rohingya. (AFP)