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Aung San Suu Kyi to tour Burma

Burma's democracy leader plans to travel around the country.

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Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a speech during a ceremony to mark her father General Aung San's 96th birth anniversary at the National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Rangoon, Burma, on February 13, 2011. (Soe Than Win/AFP/Getty Images)

Burma's national democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi announced Monday she will soon go on a tour around her country.

This will be the first tour she has taken since she and her entourage were ambushed by members of the junta eight years ago while they traveled in northern Burma (renamed Myanmar).

"I hope to be able to travel out of Rangoon in the month of June, as soon as I have got rid of all the work that has piled up," she said in a videolink to an audience at Hong Kong University, as reported in the Telegraph.

Rangoon, renamed Yangon by the ruling junta, is the country's biggest city and economic capital.

Her supporters welcomed her announcement and decision to get more involved in Burma's political affairs.

“She is the leader of the democracy network, and that includes addressing issues such as social welfare, political prisoners, farmers’ rights and civil rights lawyers,” Aung Din, executive director of the lobbying group United States Campaign for Burma, told the New York Times. “She is the leader of a broader civil society movement.”

The 2003 ambush left several of her supporters dead, and Suu Kyi herself was attacked in what some thought was an assassination attempt. Suu Kyi was arrested and sentenced to house arrest. 

Authorities released her from house arrest for the first time in eight years last November in what many observers said was an attempt to placate the international community after widely criticized elections.

Suu Kyi has spent 15 of the past 21 years under arrest or house arrest, and yet she remains a deeply popular figure in the country. When she toured Burma in the past, massive crowds turned out to see her.

Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, also used the speech on Monday to push the international community and activists inside Burma to connect using modern technology, reports the New York Times.

“We can help each other now — we now have the ability."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/110531/aung-san-suu-kyi-tour-burma