Bike for Peace Meets with Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma

July 17th, 2011 - by admin

Bike for Peace – 2011-07-17 02:27:04


Bike for Peace Meets with
Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma

Bike for Peace

Bike for Peace is an organization based in Norway that seeks to initiate and develop a grassroots concern for the local environment, as well as creating an understanding of the national and global consequences of the actions of individuals, communities and campaigns. The first campaign was run in 1978 in Northern Ireland.

We work for peace and our common environment, across the division of region and nation, language and culture. In 1999, Bike for Peace organized Worldwide 1999 from Bejing through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway — 11,470 km. strong.

In 1977, Helge Hundeide and Tore Naerland started their first international bicycle tour which they called “Bike for Peace.” This first tour was Coast to Coast in the USA, Seattle to Washington DC. Since 1978, Bike for Peace has organized peace and friendship rides in more than 104 countries.

During its tours, Bike for Peace has met many well-known political, religious and cultural leaders — like Pope Johannes Paul II, the former General Secretary of the Soviet Union Andreij Gromyko, the General Secretary of the United Nations Boutros Boutros Ghali and Perez de Cuellar, the former President of Poland Lech Walesa, Pres. Mary Robinson, Mother Theresa and Walter Mondale just to mention some of them.

Bike for Peace Delegation Visits
Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma

Yulia Chernykh / Bike for Peace

Bike for Peace, Norway, conducted a bicycle tour in Mayanmar from 21 of June to 2 of July 2011. The group consisted of 10 people — 9 Norwegians and 1 Chinese — who bicycled from Bagan to Inle Lake, around 50 km per day. The former Prime Minister of Norway and the President of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, Mr. Kjell Magne Bondevik, was among the participants on this tour.

Bike for Peace set up two meetings with the Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi while staying in Yangoon — on 22 of June and on 1 of July.

She was very encouraging regarding Bike for Peace activities worldwide. One of her messages was directed towards ordinary people and their engagement and support for democracy, education, social rights. Aung San Suu Kyi had also a great appeal towards young generation in the whole world.

The most remarkable words she said at the meeting were about dignity and empowerment:
“Real power does not come from guns, bombs, fighter jets or armies,” said Suu Kyi, “Real power comes from within the individual. For you to be empowered from within, you need to believe in your dignity as a human being.

“If you have not upheld that dignity, you will not obtain that clear consciousness that will enable you to feel empowered. The main connection between dignity and empowerment is the human connection: Are you a dignified person? Have you lived up to your human dignity? And if you feel you have, you naturally feel strong, because you are confident in what you have done and what you stand for, and that’s what empowers you.”

The leader of Bike for Peace, Tore Naerland, is partially blind and has been fighting for peace, disarmament and democracy on the planet for almost 30 years. Naerland studied history, political science and communication at the Concordia College in Moorhead/Minnesota. He has been promoting peace by organizing biking tours in various countries since 1977 and inspired many to join his ideas.

“Tore is absolutely an extraordinary person whom I admire and thanks to him I had this great chance of meeting Aung San Suu Kyi and I will never forget this day,” said Ove Thorvaldsen, one of the participants from Mo i Rana, Norway who is partially blind and deaf.

Bike for Peace has new projects planned worldwide in the coming years — South Arica in October 2011, Burma in November 2011, Vietnam in February 2012, China (Xi’an to Urumqi on the Silk Road) in May 2012, Seattle to Los Angeles in September 2012.

Yulia Chernykh is secretary for Bike for Peace

Bicycle and Cultural Tours:

Bicycle tours — we bike about 50-60 km a day. We have a following bus behind us that takes luggage and tired cyclists. The routes are set up for people with different bicycle experience and physical form —you do not need to be a professional cyclist to take part in tours with Bike for Peace!

Tore Naerland has published 7 books :
1. “The Way to…” by Karthon Haaland, 1979
2. “Before the Iron Curtain Crumbled,” 1990
3. “A Man is Killing the Atom Centre or Vice Versa,” 1993
4. “The World Ride in 1999,” 1999
5. “The Way to Friendship and Peace”, 2001
6. “Bike for Peace”, 2004
7. “50 Years on a Peace Wheel,” 2005.

Cultural tours — We try to experience as much as possible the cultural diversity and a common life of people in the country we visit. We have local guides all along the tour with us who speak English. Welcome to the tour with Bike for Peace: either bicycle or cultural tour!