Aung San Suu Kyi celebrates birthday by returning to Oxford, England


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 famous opposition leader kept under house arrest much of the past 24 years, is celebrating her 67th birthday today with family and friends at her old university haunt in Oxford, England, reported The Associated Press

Suu Kyi's celebratory day also inaugurates her arrival in the UK as part of her landmark European tour.

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The Nobel laureate, an outspoken critic of Myanmar's former military rulers, and was freed from house arrest in 2010 after the nation held reformist elections and won a seat in parliament in April. This is her first trip abroad since 1988, according to AP.

She kicked off her special day with a debate at the London School of Economics, where she argued that political progress in her country “depends so much on an understanding of the importance of the rule of law," reported BBC News

When asked how she kept up the strength to fight for freedom, the longtime dissident leader told audiences she was inspired by "people like you," adding self-reflectively -- perhaps because it's her birthday -- "and I suppose I do have a stubborn streak in me," said The Telegraph

Oxford University will on Wednesday present Suu Kyi with an honorary degree awarded in 1993, which she is finally able to receive in person. 

She earlier visited Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize awarded her in 1991.