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Suu Kyi awarded Mahatma Gandhi peace prize

The International Award for Peace and Reconciliation, known as the Mahatma Gandhi prize, has been bestowed on Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as she awaits trial on charges of violating her house arrest.

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AFP - The Mahatma Gandhi prize was on Monday handed over to a representative of Myanmar's imprisoned Aung San Suu Kyi, an AFP correspondent said.

The Durban-based committee behind the International Award for Peace and Reconciliation handed over the prize to Aung San Suu Kyi's cousin, the head of Myanmar's self-proclaimed government-in-exile, Sein Win, as the country's rights icon awaits trial on charges of violating her house arrest.

"Everybody would have wanted to see her collect this prize in person," her representative said. "Obviously that would have been better (but) she has to attend to her trial in Burma at the moment. I'm worried they will find her guilty."

The prize is awarded by the Gandhi Development Trust in honour of the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during that country's movement for independence from the British empire.

Gandhi's early years as a lawyer were spent in South Africa, where the recipient of last year's prize, anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, fought an even longer struggle for freedom.

Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been deprived of her liberty for more than 13 of the last 19 years, and has been kept in jail since May after an American man swam uninvited to her home.

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