Suu Kyi in Thailand on first trip abroad in 24 years | News | DW | 29.05.2012
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Suu Kyi in Thailand on first trip abroad in 24 years

On her first overseas trip in 24 years, Myanmar peace activist and nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Thailand on Tuesday to meet the Thai prime minister among others.

Aung San Suu Kyi touched down at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok for a five-day visit to Thailand - her first visit abroad in 24 years. She was whisked away immediately, leaving a large crowd of waiting journalists behind.

The political activist and nobel laureate from Myanmar - formerly known as Burma - was invited to neighboringThailand by the World Economic Forum, where she is expected to speak. She is also due to meet the Thai prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra.

Also on her agenda are visits to refugee camps to meet poor migrant workers and war refugees from her homeland. Roughly two million Myanmar citizens work as laborers in Thailand, often under tough conditions.

Myanmar pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, center, and elected lawmakers of her National League for Democracy party swear during a regular session of Myanmar Lower House at parliament

Suu Kyi is now a member of parliament

Suu Kyi was put under house arrest in 1989, when she supported an uprising against the military regime. Until her release earlier this year, she spent 15 of the last 23 years under house arrest and never left Myanmar, fearing she would never be able to return.

She is set return to Myanmar briefly and head to Europe in mid-June, with stops including Geneva and Oslo, where she is to formally accept the Nobel Peace Prize she won 21 years ago.

In Dublin, she'll share a stage with Bono from the Irish pop band U2, who has long supported her, at a concert in her honor, according to Irish media. In the UK she has been given the rare honor of addressing both houses of Parliament. France's Foreign Ministry says she also plans to stop over in Paris.

ng/pfd (AP, dpa, AFP)