"I believe there is a relationship between having an interest in the arts and the behaviour of society as a whole. Some politicians find it difficult that the arts is a weapon of happiness... Politics is often about deprivation rather than the opening up of ideas and nourishing creative endeavour."
"Knowledge without justice ought to be called cunning rather than wisdom."
"It's rather splendid to think of all those great men and women who appear to have presented symptoms that allow us to describe them as bipolar. Whether it's Hemingway, Van Gogh... Robert Schumann has been mentioned... Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath... some of them with rather grim ends."
"My attitude to peace is rather based on the Burmese definition of peace - it really means removing all the negative factors that destroy peace in this world. So peace does not mean just putting an end to violence or to war, but to all other factors that threaten peace, such as discrimination, such as inequality, poverty."
"It is usually the imagination that is wounded first, rather than the heart it being much more sensitive."
"I want to be part of the resurgence of things that are tangible, beautiful and soulful, rather than just give in to the digital age. But when I talk to people about this they just say, 'Yeah, I know what you mean,' and stare at their mobiles."
"If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love."
"A just laicism allows religious freedom. The state does not impose religion but rather gives space to religions with a responsibility toward civil society, and therefore it allows these religions to be factors in building up society."
"The things journalists should pay attention to are the issues the political leadership agrees on, rather than to their supposed antagonisms."
"When I said a few weeks ago that our people would eat cooking oil and olives if necessary, I didn't mean that there really would be only oil and olives. What I meant was that our people have the necessary patience to endure the current difficult situation. Palestinians would rather do without certain food items than their national rights."