Burma's Suu Kyi Makes First Trip Outside Capital

Security tight as she calls for unity, thousands turn out
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2011 11:17 AM CDT
Aung San Suu Kyi prays at a monastery in Bago, some 50 miles north of Yangon, on August 14, 2011. Suu Kyi called for unity on her first political trip outside her home city since her release.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Testing the limits of her newfound freedom and perhaps the patience of Burma's military junta, Aung San Suu Kyi ventured today outside Rangoon in her first political trip since being released from house arrest last November. Thousands gathered to see the Nobel laureate, who used the trip to Bago, some 50 miles from Rangoon, to call for unity in her fractious nation. "Unity is a strength, unity is needed everywhere, and it is needed especially in our country," she said.

Suu Kyi opened a library, met with monks at a monastery, and gave a speech to supporters. "I can die happily now that I've seen her," said one fan. A similar trip in 2003 ended with an attack on her convoy that killed several people and landed Suu Kyi under house arrest that lasted seven years. But there have been recent signs of warming between the government and Suu Kyi, notes the BBC, with two rounds of talks having taken place. Click through the gallery for scenes from the day.

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