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Aung San Suu Kyi To Visit Eastern Europe

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will visit Europe next month as part of a three-country tour.

The Forum 2000 foundation announced on its website on August 15 that Suu Kyi will be travelling to the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary.

Her second European tour since 1988 begins on September 15 with a trip to Prague where she will be attending a conference organized by the Forum 2000 foundation, which was co-founded by the late Czech President Vaclav Havel.

During his time in office, Havel nominated Suu Kyi for the Nobel Peace Prize, which she won in 1991.

"There are no better friends than those with whom we shared the same values," Suu Kyi said of her first trip to post-communist Europe. "It is because the late President Vaclav Havel and we in Burma shared a hunger for democracy and human rights that we became friends across oceans and continents."

Suu Kyi is expected to speak at this year's Forum 2000 conference, which will be looking at the experience of countries transforming from authoritarian regimes to more democratic systems of government.

Besides the Burmese dissident, the event will also be attended by other dignitaries, such as the Dalai Lama, the American singer and activist Joan Baez, and the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk.

Suu Kyi's upcoming visit also highlights the changes that have taken place in her own country since decades of outright military rule ended in 2011.

For 24 years, the opposition leader was either under house arrest or too fearful that if she left Burma, the former military regime would not let her return.

She won a seat in Burma's parliament in April 2012.
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