MAHACHAI, Thailand - Reuters
Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi greets migrant workers from Myanmar, as she visits them in Bangkok. REUTERS photo
Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi received a rapturous reception in Thailand yesterday from crowds of cheering compatriots who flocked to celebrate her first trip outside Myanmar in nearly a quarter of a century.
More than 1,000 Myanmar migrants lined the streets waving flags and holding aloft pictures of Suu Kyi as she arrived to give a speech from the balcony of a dilapidated building in an industrial zone on the fringes of the Thai capital, Bangkok. Suu Kyi, who will visit refugees from Myanmar in border camps later on her four-day visit, had refused to leave her country, also known as Burma, for fear of being blocked from returning by the former military junta whose rule she challenged. Labor activists estimate there are at least two million Myanmar migrants in Thailand, many sending home part of their wages to help families in a country. “I wish the migrant workers from Burma good health and wealth, that they be free from danger and can come back home as soon as possible.” Suu Kyi told the crowd.