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NLD’s 1st Political Tour Arrangement for Suu Kyi

Rangoon: Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese pposition leader, on Sunday day made her first political trip outside the repressive nation’s main city since her release from seven years of house arrest, a crucial journey which tests the limit of her freedom.





The last time the democracy icon travelled into the countryside to meet supporters, assailants ambushed her entourage in an attack that eventually saw her detained and later placed under a long house arrest from which she was released last November.

Her trip to Bago and Thanetpin, towns about 50 miles north of the former capital, involved little more than the opening of two libraries, but her party billed it as her first overtly political trip since her release from house arrest last year.

In the town of Bago, Aung San Suu Kyi greeted more than 300 supporters at a pagoda as crowds shouted “Long Live Daw Aung San Suu Kyi!”

Toll gates out of Yangon were lifted for her convoy to pass without fuss, and even the payment was waived, according to a worker at the toll booth.

Around 36 cars were in the convoy, including 24 transporting nearly 100 reporters, three carrying Western diplomats and two or three that appeared to be occupied by plain-clothes police. Some people stood along the roadsides to wave as she passed. Security agents, with wireless microphones protruding from their civilian clothes, monitored the visit.

“We can develop this country only when we all work together,” Ms. Suu Kyi told the crowds in her first address. Unity is a strength, unity is needed everywhere and it is needed especially in our country.”

About 300 and 600 supporters attended the ceremonies in Thanetpin and Bago respectively, listening to Suu Kyi speak and applauding. Hundreds of people lined the route to wave to her as she drove in the area.

She returned home to Yangon without incident in late afternoon.

On Friday, Suu Kyi held talks for just under an hour with Labour Minister Aung Kyi and they issued a joint statement afterwards saying they wanted to cooperate to bring stability and economic development to the country.

“I know the people are very eager to know about the details of my talks with Minister U Aung Kyi,” she said on Sunday at the ceremony in Bago, using the honorific “U.”

“In fact, it is not time yet to reveal the details as there are certain things to be carried out specifically. I just don’t want to form false, lofty expectations. Please understand it,” she said.

She called on people to be responsible and do their bit to support her.

Friday’s meeting was the second in just over two weeks between the minister and the 66-year-old Nobel Peace Laureate.

Separately on Friday, at a rare news conference in the capital, Naypyitaw, Kyaw Hsan, the Minister of Information and leader of a newly formed “Spokespersons and Information Team,” held out another olive branch to Suu Kyi and her party.

“In view of national reconciliation, the government is delicately and carefully handling the issue of the NLD, which has no legal right to exist, offering it opportunities to serve the national interest in cohesion,” he said.

Sources from: Reuters, The Hindu & Irrawaddy


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