Suu Kyi’s historic trip outside Myanmar
Hong Kong (CNN) — Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will arrive in Bangkok on Tuesday, venturing outside Myanmar for the first time since 1988.
Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy campaigner who spent years under house arrest, will deliver a speech at the World Economic Forum on East Asia being held in the Thai capital this week.
During her visit, she will also address migrant workers from Myanmar at a community center in Mahachai, southwest of Bangkok, on Wednesday.
Her Thai Airways flight is due to arrive in Bangkok Tuesday evening local time.
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The visit to Thailand comes before a planned longer trip to Europe in June when she will visit Britain, the former colonial ruler of Myanmar and the country where she received her university education and met her husband.
She will also travel to Oslo, Norway and deliver her long-delayed acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize that she was awarded in 1991.
During the brief periods of freedom from her long detention, Suu Kyi had always refused to leave the country, fearing that she would not be allowed back in.
Myanmar has seen dramatic changes over the past year.
In May, Suu Kyi and 33 other newly elected members of her National League for Democracy party took up their seats in the Myanmar Parliament, a leap in the country’s progress toward democracy.
The government has also pardoned hundreds of political prisoners, begun negotiations with ethnic rebel groups and embarked on a series of economic reforms.
These steps have been welcomed by the United States, European Union and other governments, who have responded by easing sanctions on the country.
Before her departure on Tuesday, Suu Kyi was expected to meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is in Myanmar.
Singh held talks with Myanmar President Thein Sein on Monday, signing agreements to strength trade and diplomatic ties.
Thein Sein, the former military official whose civilian government has instituted many of the country’s recent political reforms, was also due to attend the World Economic Forum.
However, organizers said his appearance had been canceled.