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Myanmar's migrant workers greet Suu Kyi in Thailand

6 years ago232 views

reuters

Reuters

It's the first time she's ventured out of her country in 24 years, but it's clear her fellow countrymen have not forgotten her.

Hordes of Myanmar nationals gathered in the outskirts of Bangkok to greet pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as she addressed the crowd from the balcony of a child care centre for Myanmar's migrant workers.

Her presence in Thailand is a remarkable display of confidence in the liberalisation taking shape in Myanmar after five decades of military rule.

For nearly a quarter of a century, Suu Kyi had refused to leave Myanmar, fearing she would be barred from returning.

She kept to form, with a feisty message for her fellow Myanmar nationals.

(SOUNDBITE) (Burmese) NATIONAL LEAGUE FOR DEMOCRACY LEADER AUNG SAN SUU KYI SAYING:

"You should also be aware of your own responsibilities which is to try and understand the law, so that when they are violated, you can make a complaint. You also need to know who to complain to. During the campaigning in Myanmar before the by-elections, I've said this time and again - I don't want to make promises. It's not good if you cannot keep your promises after you've made them. But I can make you one promise - I will try my very best."

Suu Kyi was speaking in a Samut Sakhon province town called "Muang Burma Lek," which means "Little Burmese Town."

Suu Kyi also earlier dropped by a shrimp market that employs mostly Myanmar nationals, who lined the streets to welcome her motorcade.

Migrant worker Yne Thin says she's glad Suu Kyi has not forgotten them.

(SOUNDBITE) (Burmese) 27-YEAR OLD YNE YNE THIN SAYING:

"Aung San Suu Kyi has been under arrest for a long time. She doesn't know about the hardships faced by the general public, those faced by her daughters who have come to work in Thailand. So the daughters are welcoming her when she comes to Thailand so she knows about us."

The nobel laureate arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday night (May 29), and she's scheduled to give a speech at the World Economic Forum in the capital on Friday (June 1).

Arnold Gay, Reuters.