Myanmar’s pro-democracy opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, made her first political trip outside the city of Rangoon since her release from house arrest last November, The BBC reported.
During her visit to the city of Bago, Suu Kyi called for national unity as thousands of people lined the streets in her honor.
Suu Kyi travelled in a three-car convoy that was followed by a host of vehicles carrying reporters and supporters. She delivered a speech to about 600 people as she opened a library in Tha Nat Pin, close to Bago.
“We can develop this country only when we all work together,” The BBC quoted her as saying. “Unity is a strength, unity is needed everywhere and it is needed especially in our country.”
She vowed to continue her work “as much as I can.”
Security was a major concern for the trip, since on a similar excursion in 2003 Suu Kyi’s convoy was attacked by a group widely believed to be linked to the old military government.
The incident left several people dead and resulted in a seven-year house arrest for Suu Kyi.
The authorities in Myanmar warned that Suu Kyi’s Sunday trip could trigger unrest, adding that security agents were monitoring the convoy, but The BBC report noted that this was unlikely, as a new nominally civilian government is now in place and in recent weeks it has shown a willingness to try to reach an accommodation with Suu Kyi.