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Suu Kyi center of dispute in Britain

Aung San Suu Kyi is the focal point of a tit-for-tat squabble in Britain’s Parliament prior to her official visit and speech to Parliament starting on June 21.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague answers questions from the media at the British Council in Rangoon on Friday, January 6, 2012. Photo: MizzimaForeign Secretary William Hague is jousting with senior parliamentary figures after they tried to ban Suu Kyi from addressing MPs in Westminster Hall.

The bickering over protocol incudes a squabble about whether she should receive a trumpet fanfare, said the Mailonline website.

Hague is backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and Commons Speaker John Bercow who want her to receive the ultimate honour of speaking before both Houses of Parliament in historic Westminster Hall. But a protocol official said it would be “inappropriate,” the paper said, while suggesting a smaller venue, which one official even suggested she might not be able to fill.

Ultimately, the Commons Speaker overrode the advice by announcing to MPs that the June 21 speech would be held in Westminster Hall and invited MPs to apply for tickets in ‘”the usual manner.” 

By delivering the address in Westminster Hall, Suu Kyi will outrank such figures as the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, Russian president Nikita Khrushchev, U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton and French presidents Francois Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy who all were received in the smaller Royal Gallery venue. 

She will not be greeted by trumpeters in Westminster Hall, officials said.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 June 2012 10:17 )  

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