DUBLIN - Aung San Suu Kyi received a rock star welcome in Ireland Monday, with U2 singer Bono among those performing at a concert to honor the Myanmar democracy icon after flying in with her on his private jet.
Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi took to the stage with Bono to receive a prize from Amesty International at the rights group's "Electric Burma" concert in a packed Dublin theatre. She was met with cheers and a standing ovation.
Bono thanked her for being there, saying: "We know there are many many other places you could be and we understand the signal your presence here sends out and we are humbled, we are grateful."
"It is one of the great ironies that by your confinement, the world has become your home. Dublin is your world this evening."
Suu Kyi sat alongside Bono - who has long supported Suu Kyi's freedom struggle and dedicated the song "Walk On" to her - after the pair travelled from Oslo, Norway, where they had co-hosted a peace forum.
"To receive this award is to remind me that 24 years ago I took on duties from which I shall never be relieved but you have given me the strength to carry out," Suu Kyi said in reply.
"I have discovered how much more people care. I had not expected this. I had not known how much they cared. This has come as a surprise to me and a very moving one."
The concert opened with Ireland's Riverdance troupe performing against an atmospheric set designed to look like a nocturnal beach scene.
Bono's fellow rock star-activist Bob Geldof then took to the stage, saying: "You actually honor us by being finally here with us."
Ambassador of Conscience Award
Suu Kyi received Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award, the rights group's most prestigious prize, after performances from world artists including Benin singer Angelique Kidjo and US rapper Lupe Fiasco.
She won the award in 2009 but was under house arrest in Myanmar at the time so could not collect it.
The concert also featured a recorded message from Dave Lee Travis, the British DJ nicknamed the "Hairy Cornflake", who Suu Kyi has said kept her spirits up during her time under house arrest.
Myanmar comedian-activist Zarganar, another of the performers, said he spent almost 11 years in prison in his country "because of making jokes".
Bono, wearing his trademark black glasses, wrapped up the event with a performance of "Walk On", followed by U2's "One".
In Dublin, Suu Kyi also met with Irish President Michael D. Higgins.
After the concert at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, thousands of people were expected at an open-air event 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.
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 also unable to accept it at the time.
After visiting Ireland, Suu Kyi's 17-day European tour takes her to Britain on Tuesday.
Birthday in Oxford
She will celebrate her birthday in the southern English town of Oxford, where she studied at the prestigious university and lived for several years with her late English husband, Michael Aris.
Oxford University, where she studied politics, philosophy and economics and met Tibet expert Aris, will award her with an honorary degree on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Suu Kyi is to address both houses of parliament in London in a rare honor for a foreign dignitary, as well as meet Prime Minister David Cameron and heir to the throne Prince Charles.
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.