Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has fallen ill while campaigning for Myanmar's upcoming by-elections and has suspended her extensive tour of the country a week ahead of the polls, her party said today. A National League for Democracy spokesman said that Suu Kyi's personal physician advised taking the break after she fell ill with vomiting while campaigning in the Mergui archipelago in southernmost Myanmar. The doctor blamed her ill health on exhaustion and hot weather. Party members traveling with the 66-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate said she had been put on an intravenous drip.
Suu Kyi has traveled thousands of miles by car, plane, and boat to campaign around the country for her party. She herself is running in a constituency south of Yangon. Suu Kyi fell ill yesterday during a grueling day of boat travel that saw her vessel go temporarily aground. NLD members said the authorities denied her party the use of a larger ferry-type vessel which would have allowed her to travel faster, so her group was forced to use three smaller boats which made the journey's duration three times as long. Despite her illness, she briefly addressed a crowd of 10,000 people today in Mergui, mentioning the problem in obtaining a fast boat and promising to return when she is well. (Read more Myanmar stories.)