Suu Kyi in rare visit outside Yangon

Crowds throng as democracy leader visits temple city of Bagan.

     

    Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi greeted by supporters in Bagan [EPA]

    The Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is travelling for the first time outside Yangon since her release from house arrest last November.

    Her trip to the ancient temple city of Bagan, with one of her sons, Kim Aris was supposed to be a private affair, but crowds of supporters flocked to the temple.

    Suu Kyi in theory is free to travel where she wishes in Myanmar as she was released without any conditions. But only last week, the new military-backed government warned her and her party to cease all political activities.

    Supporters of Suu Kyi say this visit is just a holiday as she also plans to visit the birthplace of her father, the independence leader Aung San.

    Safety fears

    The government has warned of chaos if she tries to rally public support during her visit.

    Officials of Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, have told supporters to stay away, as they fear her trip could be jeapordised by clashes between pro-democracy supporters and groups linked to the military-backed government.

    In 2003 she was travelling in the north of the country when thugs linked to the then ruling generals attacked her convoy.

    The attack took place in Kyee Village, on the outskirts of Depayin Township. After the attack, Suu Kyi was arrested and placed under house arrest, where she remained until her release in 2010.    

    She will take a flight back to Yangon on Friday.

    Suu Kyi has been in and out of detention since 1991, when she led her party to victory in parliamentary elections. The military, however, refused to accept the result.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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