Thousands Cheer Suu Kyi on Campaign Trail
Thousands of cheering people crammed the streets in a southern Myanmar district Saturday to catch a glimpse of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on the historic first official day of her campaign.
Supporters lined the streets of Kawhmu with the party flags of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy as the 66-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s convoy of 40 cars and vans made its way south to Kawhmu.
It was the first time Suu Kyi, hidden from her people for years under house arrest, has been able to openly campaign, the first time people have been able to publicly support her.
One banner said: “We want peace and human rights by the people for the people.”
A year ago, the scene might have been unthinkable.
No wonder then that Suu Kyi was greeted Saturday more like a rock star than a politician.
Aung San Suu Kyi campaigns in Myanmar
She plans to hit the campaign trail for the next 50 days.
Dressed in white, Suu Kyi popped out from the sunroof of her vehicle, clutching in her hand flowers that have come to symbolize defiance in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
She registered last month to run for a parliamentary seat in Kawhmu after Myanmar’s autocratic regime agreed to negotiate with an ethnic rebel group and pardoned hundreds of political prisoners.
National reconciliation has been a priority for Suu Kyi.