Freed Aung San Suu Kyi Seeks Democracy For Burma VOA News 6 May 2002 12:17 UTC Listen to David Dyar's report (RealAudio)
AP Aung Sann Suu Kyi talks with supporters after being freed from 19 months of house arrest Burma's opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has emerged from 19 months of house arrest with a pledge to help bring democracy back to her military-ruled country.
Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was greeted by thousands of supporters after the government allowed her to leave her Rangoon home on Monday. They gathered along roadways to cheer and wave as she drove to the headquarters of her National League for Democracy party.
The 56-year-old Nobel laureate spoke to an audience there, saying her release is a new dawn for Burma. She also said the military has placed no conditions on what she may do and where she may go.
Announcing her release earlier in the day, the government said a new page has been turned for the people of Burma and the international community. It also promised to allow Burma's citizens to participate in the political process, as long as they do not threaten national stability.
Observers say they expect Aung San Suu Kyi's release to be part of a broad framework of political reform, negotiated over the past year and a half in talks brokered by United Nations envoy Razali Ismail.
In Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Razali called the release an important beginning in Burma's national reconciliation. The Malaysian diplomat said he hopes the two sides will continue negotiations to bring democracy back to Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma's military rulers have been engaged in closed-door talks since shortly after she was placed under house arrest in September of 2000. Her movements had been restricted in one form or another since 1989.