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Thousands Greet Suu Kyi During Rare Trip To Myanmar Countryside


Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was met by thousands of supporters on August 14 as she took her first political trip outside the capital Rangoon since being released from house arrest last November.

Wearing a flower garland, Suu Kyi spoke before an emotional crowd in the town of Bago, about 80 kilometers north of the main city of Rangoon.

She called on her supporters to be patient as she attempts to work with members of the military-dominated government to bring democratic change to the country:

"I know what you are desirous of [change]," she said. "And I will do my best to fulfill it step by step, and tell you when there are facts I can ascertain. But it is impossible to achieve it without the support of the people."

Suu Kyi also traveled to the nearby town of Thanatpin, where she urged residents to persevere despite economic hardships.

The trip by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate came two days after she held talks with Myanmar's Labor Minister, Aung Kyi. The two issued a joint statement saying they wanted to cooperate to bring stability and economic development to the country.

The tour on August 14 marks the first time Suu Kyi has staged a political trip outside Rangoon since 2003, when she was apprehended by government troops during a trip and placed under seven years' house arrest.

compiled from agency reports
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