Emotional reception for Suu Kyi on trip

2011-07-06 15:20
Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi puts her autograph on the shirt of a man as she greets local people near an old temple in the country's ancient city of Bagan. (Khin Maung Win, AP)

Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi puts her autograph on the shirt of a man as she greets local people near an old temple in the country's ancient city of Bagan. (Khin Maung Win, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bagan - Democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi attracted dozens of emotional supporters on Wednesday during her visit to an ancient temple city in central Myanmar, proving her enduring popularity after years in detention.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner is on holiday in Bagan, famed for its temple ruins, on her first venture outside her home city of Yangon since being freed by the junta from seven years of house arrest last November.

As the 66-year-old returned to her car after a lunch-time stop with her youngest son and travel companion Kim Aris, she was greeted by a spontaneous crowd of about 150 supporters, some of them openly weeping.

"Thank you very much," a smiling Suu Kyi told her admirers, as she signed autographs, including on some T-shirts, and posed for photographs.

"I will try to come back," she added, before retiring to her hotel. Earlier, she and Aris, aged 33, who was born in Britain, had been sightseeing in nearby Mount Popa and toured a local museum.

Suu Kyi has refrained from making political comments during her trip, which began on Monday, in an apparent attempt not to antagonise government figures, who have warned they can't guarantee her safety on her travels.

Security concerns

Her earlier plan to launch a political tour prompted a demand from the regime for her National League for Democracy (NLD) party to stay out of politics, and a warning that "chaos and riots" could ensue if she went ahead.

That tour has been delayed until the weather conditions are right, Suu Kyi said last week. Plain-clothes police have been following her every move throughout her current trip, although it is described as a private visit.

Security is a major concern after Suu Kyi's convoy was attacked in 2003 during a political tour, in an ambush apparently organised by a regime frightened by her popularity.

Observers said that any activity that puts Suu Kyi in contact with the people of Myanmar could have repercussions.

Her NLD party won a landslide election victory in 1990 that was never recognised by the junta, and the party was disbanded by the military rulers last year because it boycotted a November election, saying rules were unfair.

The junta's political proxies claimed an overwhelming victory in the poll, which was marred by widespread complaints of cheating and intimidation.

Read more on:    aung san suu kyi  |  myanmar

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The moon moves out of your sign and into the more emotionally sensitive sign of Pisces. It is time to quieten your very busy mind...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.