Britain welcomes back Aung San Suu Kyi | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 20.06.2012
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Britain welcomes back Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has returned to Britain for the first time in more than two decades. The pro-democracy icon said she would still be prepared to lead her country.

Suu Kyi received a standing ovation as she addressed a packed auditorium at the London School of Economics on Tuesday.

"It's all of you and people like you that have given me the strength to continue," the 67-year-old said, amid cheers from the audience. "And I suppose I do have a stubborn streak in me."

There was also an atmosphere of celebration as Suu Kyi arrived in the city of Oxford, where she was due to be presented with an honorary degree by Oxford University on Wednesday.

On her tour of Europe, Suu Kyi has already visited Ireland Switzerland and Norway, where she gave a much belated acceptance speech for her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at Oslo City Hall

Suu Kyi gave a speech in Norway for the Nobel prize she was awarded two decades ago

"During this journey I have found great warmth and great support," Suu Kyi said.

On Tuesday, her former Oxford college St Hugh's threw a party for her birthday.

During her trip she has given an indication she would like to run her country and its people: "If I can lead them in the right way, yes," she told the BBC.

She also warned businesses investing in Myanmar that they should not help those resistant to democratic change.

"If they are doing business with cronies and with those who will use their new economic powers to consolidate the grip of the government, then I think we'll have to expose them," she said.

Suu Kyi studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford during the 1960s. She continued living in the university city with her husband, the academic Michael Aris, and their two sons before returning to Myanmar to nurse her ailing mother in 1988.

After leading her National League for Democracy to victory in landmark elections in 1990, she was detained by the military and held under house arrest for much of the following two decades.

Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in November 2010 and won a seat in Myanmar's parliament in April this year.

Author: Richard Connor (AP, AFP, Reuters)
Editor: Anne Thomas

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