BURMESE OPPOSITION LEADER Aung San Suu Kyi is set to leave Burma to travel abroad today for the first time in 24 years.
The pro-democracy leader is due to visit Thailand to meet with the country’s prime minister and give a speech at the World Economic Forum in Bangkok. She may also visit a refugee camp which is home to people who fled from Burma, according to a Burmese news agency.
It is the first time since 1988 that she has left the country. She refused to leave Burma during respite from her long periods of house arrest for fear that the ruling military junta would not allow her back into the country.
She is also due to visit Europe next month, including a visit to Ireland which is likely to take place on 18 June. The event will not be a state visit because she is not a head of state, but it is believed that she will meet Irish political leaders. There are also suggestions that she may meet with Bono, who has been a long time supporter of Aung San Suu Kyi.
As part of the trip to Europe she is set to travel to Oslo to give an acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, which she was awarded in absentia while under house arrest in 1991, according to Mizzima, a Burmese news agency.
Aung San Suu Kyi was held under house arrest for most of the last 22 years. She was freed in November 2010. Earlier this month she was sworn into Burma’s military-backed parliament.