Suu Kyi Arrives in Europe for First Time in 24 Years
She's due to accept her Nobel, a few decades late
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 13, 2012 7:01 PM CDT
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to reporters as she arrives at Yangon International airport Wednesday. She flew to Geneva.   (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

(Newser) – Twenty-four years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi left Europe for what was then a military-controlled nation called Burma. She returned today the icon of Myanmar's democracy movement to a continent eager to hear from her whether the country's recent reforms truly spell the end of its dictatorship. The trip is seen as a sign of gratitude to those governments and organizations that supported Suu Kyi's peaceful struggle against Myanmar's generals over more than two decades, 15 years of which she spent under house arrest.

Suu Kyi smiled and waved as she stepped out of the plane that landed in Geneva. Tomorrow, she will visit the UN's European headquarters to address the annual meeting of the International Labor Organization, whose campaign against slavery and child labor in Myanmar drew constant attention to the junta's abusive exploitation of its people. From Switzerland, Suu Kyi flies to Oslo, where on Saturday she will make a belated acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to her 21 years earlier.