Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Free to Travel . . . and Return

Nobel laureate and opposition political leader Aung San Suu Kyi left Myanmar yesterday for the first time since 1988.  She arrived in Bangkok intending to visit Burmese refugees in Thailand but apparently neglected to inform Thai officials of her plans.

Before her departure from Yangon, Suu Kyi met with Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to discuss Myanmar's ongoing political transition.  Singh delivered an invitation for Suu Kyi to deliver the next Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture.  The Times of India noted that the meeting represented a "course correction" for India's government, which had previously opted to deal with the military regime in Myanmar that had repeatedly confined Suu Kyi to house arrest while suppressing the country's pro-democracy movement.

Suu Kyi plans to travel to the U.K., Norway, Switzerland, and Ireland next month.  She will  address Parliament in the U.K., receive her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize in Norway, address the International Labor Organization in Switzerland, and meet with Bono in Ireland.