Aung San Suu Kyi to visit Norway and Britain


Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi greets supporters from the gate of her house on the occasion of festivities marking the country's new year in Yangon on April 16, 2012. Suu Kyi plans to leave Myanmar for the first time in 24 years, to visit Britain and Norway.



Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's democracy hero, plans to visit Britain and Norway in June, leaving Myanmar for the first time in 24 years, according to the Guardian.

It will be the first time that a member of the National League for Democracy has made a diplomatic visit abroad.

Suu Kyi will visit Oslo to accept in person the Nobel Peace Prize that she won in 1991 while under house arrest, for her "non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights." The Nobel Institute's events manager Sigrid Langebrekke told the AFP, "She will give her Nobel lecture at Oslo City Hall."

After Oslo, Suu Kyi plans to go to the United Kingdom and is expected to visit Oxford University where she attended university in the 1970s, according to the Guardian. Her party's spokesman, Nyan Win, said the exact dates for her travel were not yet known. Suu Kyi has yet to receive the passport she requested.

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Nyan Win said the trip abroad was a "statement about political freedom" and a sign of confidence in the political reforms taking place in Myanmar, also known as Burma, according to The New York Times.

The Times noted that Suu Kyi's British husband, Michael Aris, died of cancer in Britain in 1999, while she was under house arrest. Her children spent their adolescence in Britain, without their mother because Suu Kyi feared that if she left Myanmar she would not be allowed to return.

The military junta that governed Myanmar and had placed Suu Kyi under house arrest did not forbid her from leaving the country, but Suu Kyi chose to stay and campaign for democracy.

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The nominally civilian government led by President Thein Sein that came to power in 2011 instituted some political and economic reforms and held elections which swept Suu Kyi into a seat in parliament and gave her party more than 40 seats in government.

During his visit to Myanmar last Friday, British Prime Minister David Cameron extended an invitation to Suu Kyi to visit Britain. She replied, "Two years ago I would have said thank you for the invitation, but sorry. But now I am able to say perhaps, and that's great progress," according to the Associated Press.

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