Crowds cheer Suu Kyi on return from landmark US tour
- Published: 5/10/2012 at 12:49 AM
- Online news:
Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was greeted by thousands of supporters as she arrived back in Myanmar Thursday after a triumphant trip to the United States where she was also given a hero's welcome.
Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks in Los Angeles, California on October 2, 2012. Suu Kyi was greeted by thousands of supporters as she arrived back in Myanmar Thursday after a triumphant trip to the United States where she was also given a hero's welcome.
The pro-democracy leader, who spent 15 years under house arrest until her 2010 release, received the Congressional Gold Medal and travelled to New York, Kentucky, Indiana, San Francisco and Los Angeles during a busy two-week tour.
Suu Kyi also had an emotional reunion with her eldest son Alexander Aris, who lives in the United States and had not seen his mother in years, a source close to the veteran dissident told AFP.
Several thousand supporters cheered Suu Kyi at Rangoon airport after her return late Thursday, shouting "Long live Mother Suu" and holding signs reading "Welcome home Mother Suu".
"I'm very happy to see her with my own eyes. She is the one who can bring development for us. I want to tell her that I love her so much," said Chit Chit Hlaing, a 17-year-old member of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party.
Suu Kyi later told supporters outside her home: "We have to remain united during hard times and cannot rest."
Her historic trip coincided with a US visit by Myanmar President Thein Sein during which Washington announced it would ease a ban on imports from the former pariah state.
Myanmar was ruled by an iron-fisted junta for decades but, since taking office last year, a reformist government under former general Thein Sein has freed political prisoners and allowed Suu Kyi's party into electoral politics.
The sweeping changes, however, have been overshadowed by recent deadly clashes between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya in western Myanmar.
Suu Kyi, 67, has come in for rare criticism from human rights activists who want her to speak out on behalf of Myanmar's 800,000-strong Rohingya population, viewed by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted minorities.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency