Aung San Suu Kyi calls for democracy and unity

Sunday, November 14, 2010

YANGON - Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi Sunday called for unity and national reconciliation to face the nation’s challenges as she addressed thousands of supporters a day after her release from house arrest.

“We must work together,” she told about 10,000 supporters outside her National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Yangon. The placard-waving crowd cheered the Nobel Peace laureate, chanting “Long live Aung San Suu Kyi,” and “We love Daw (Madam) Suu”.

Soldiers were seen in a building opposite NLD headquarters and security agents photographed the crowd occupying the street.

Suu Kyi, 65, was released Saturday evening after completing her latest 18-month sentence, which was added on to a previous six-year sentence. She has spent 15 of the past 20 years under house arrest.

She said she wanted to listen to the opinions of other people before making any decision on her own future plans.

“I will talk to anyone who is willing to work for the good of the country and democracy,” Suu Kyi told a press conference. “National reconciliation means recognizing that there are differences.”

She said she did not seek revenge. “I have no ill feelings towards the government for detaining me for such a long time.”

Suu Kyi planned to visit NLD headquarters again Monday morning, a party source said.

The ruling junta granted her freedom after it stage-managed a general election Nov 7 that was widely criticised as a sham. The Union Solidarity and Development Party, a junta proxy, won an estimated 80 percent of the 1,159 contested seats in the three chambers of parliament.

The party has been accused of tampering with advance ballots and bribing or intimidating voters.

Suu Kyi said she would wait to read a report on the election compiled by the NLD before commenting on the outcome.

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