Suu Kyi makes first political trip outside main city

(CNN) — Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday made her
first political trip outside the main city since her release from house arrest last year.

Residents lined the streets to greet the Nobel laureate as she made stops in Bago
with her 30-car convoy.

Her convoy included body guards, party members and journalists.

The northern town of Bago is about 80 kilometers ( 50 miles) from Yangon.

“We hope that this trip will be peaceful, and we plan to have more trips in the
future,” said Nyan Win, a spokesman for her party, the National League for Democracy.

Suu Kyi has spent most of the past two decades in some form of detention.

In November, Myanmar’s government released her from house arrest to a throng
of supporters who rushed to her lakeside Yangon home after the gates were opened.

“I’m very happy to see you all again,” she said after being hidden from the public
eye for so long.

Since then, she has not shied away from the political statements that have put her
at odds with the military government.

She has urged the people of Myanmar to be empowered, and called on world
leaders not to forget the nation as they rebuild the global economy.

In June, she addressed U.S. lawmakers via video link, asking Congress to help
enforce a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution calling for political reconciliation,
judicial independence and the release of political prisoners.

Analysts said the meeting outside the main city is her test of freedom.

“I think it is quite a low key trip, seeing that she didn’t make any provoking speeches
during this trip at all. And at certain level the government has given some kind of
safety assistance to her during this trip,” said Aung Saw, a Myanmar political analyst.

Earlier this month, the prodemocracy icon led hundreds in a demonstration at a
Yangon monastery to commemorate the anniversary of the 1988 uprising that
first put her at the forefront of the opposition’s call for democratic change.

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