FORT WAYNE – Aung San Suu Kyi reminds Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., of someone: Mother Teresa.
Their lives and gentle voices had a profound effect on the world, Coats said by phone Wednesday after the Burmese democracy leader received the Congressional Gold Medal on Capitol Hill.
They lived what they believed. They made incredible sacrifices to do what they did, Coats said about Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner, and Mother Teresa, the late nun who ministered to India’s poor. Each woman received the Nobel Peace Prize.
He said Suu Kyi possesses courage, tenacity, perseverance that you rarely see.
She was as eloquent as anyone I’ve ever heard speak, Coats said.
He soon will hear her again. Coats said he plans to attend Suu Kyi’s public appearance Tuesday morning at Fort Wayne’s Memorial Coliseum.
Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was among senators who met with Suu Kyi on Wednesday. In an earlier email, Lugar mentioned her scheduled visit to Fort Wayne.
Suu Kyi has continually inspired the thousands of Burmese resettling in Indiana as they fled from torture and persecution in Burma, Lugar said. Her visit to the state is a tribute to the courage and suffering of these adopted Hoosiers.
Fort Wayne and Indianapolis are among U.S. cities with large Burmese populations.