Suu Kyi Makes Landmark US Visit
Meanwhile, Burma releases hundreds of political prisoners
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2012 7:36 AM CDT
Updated Sep 17, 2012 7:53 AM CDT
Myanmar opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center, arrives at Yangon International airport, Myanmar, to depart for the US, Sept. 16, 2012.   (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

(Newser) – Aung San Suu Kyi arrives in Washington today, to begin a 17-day US tour that would have been unthinkable a mere two years ago, when the Nobel laureate was still under house arrest in Burma. She will have meetings at the State Department and White House, and will receive the highest award Congress can bestow, the AP reports. She'll then travel to New York, and later to the Midwest and California. But the visit is being carefully scheduled to avoid upstaging Myanmar President Thein Sein's visit next week.

"The idea that she will be at the Rotunda of the US Capitol … just a couple of years after she was under house arrest in her own country, is just remarkable," one congressman said. Meanwhile, Burma released 514 detainees today, which activists believe includes all the country's remaining political prisoners, Reuters reports.