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Freed Suu Kyi urges Burmese opposition to unite

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Freed Suu Kyi urges Burmese opposition to unite


Newly-freed Aung San Suu Kyi says she is ready to work with other pro-democracy parties in Myanmar, signalling her return to the political stage.

The call for unity came in the opposition leader’s first major speech since she was released from seven years of house arrest this weekend.

Addressing followers at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy, she urged them to “stand up for what is right” and not to give up hope.

Despite spending much of the last two decades in detention, Suu Kyi looks remarkably well and
young for her 65 years. Asked about this at a news conference, she replied with humour: “Due to the job requirement, I must stay healthy until we get democracy. Only when we get democracy can I be an ordinary old lady.”

The Nobel peace laureate’s release follows last Sunday’s parliamentary election, condemned by human rights groups and the West as rigged to prolong military rule.

Suu Kyi has extended an olive branch to the regime in the country also known as Burma, offering to meet its leaders. And she has indicated she may urge the West to end sanctions if that is what the Burmese people want.

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