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On first trip outside Rangoon, people warmly greet Suu Kyi

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Local people in the Bagan area expressed their admiration for pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during her four-day pilgrimage to the ancient temple complex in central Burma.

suu-kyi-at-naungoo-market-1Aye Khaing, a member of her security team, said at first the local people were cautious, but her reception at a market in bagan on Thursday evening was an outpouring of love for the leader of the National League for Democracy.
“First they were a little afraid, but when they saw her they were ready to do anything to get a chance to greet her and to touch her hand. I was amazed. The people love her so much,” he told Mizzima.

Since the trip was a personal pilgrimage, local people had no information about her itinerary in advance so many encounters were very low-key, said reporters who followed her in the tour.

The visit by Suu Kyi to the Nyaung-U market was crowded with people, with estimates up to 3,000 people.

“The young girls didn’t care about their modesty and struggled through the men to reach out to Daw Suu and to get a chance to touch her. I saw this scene with my own eyes. Some cried when they saw her. Some hugged her and some cried. Our eyes were watery too,” Aye Khaing said.

On her tour of the temple complex, Suu Kyi visited Ananda, Thabbanyu and Myazedi pagodas. The trustee boards of the pagodas welcomed her with bouquets.

Foreigners and local people greeted her near Tharapa Gate in Bagan on the second day of her tour. She signed autographs and posed for photos and video and had lunch at a roadside restaurant with no name near Tharapa Gate.

In the evening, she offered robes to the abbot at the Wadaw Monastery near Tharapa Gate, and she pledged to offer four novices in the monastery donations until they became monks.

On the third day, she visited a forestry preserve on the way to Poppa Hill in Kyaukpadaung Township.

On the final day of her tour, she visited  the Ingyin nature preserve forest in Zeeo Thit Hla village in Nyaung-U Township.

Aung San Suu Kyi left Nyaung-U on Friday at 8:30 a.m. on an Air Mandalay flight, and she arrived at Rangoon International Airport at 10:50 a.m.

She said before the tour that she wanted to make the visit personal and she wanted to rest, worship and study the living conditions of the local people. Earlier, her supporters at home and abroad had expressed concern about her security during the tour.

When he met US Senator John McCain, Vice-President Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo said that Suu Kyi was just an ordinary citizen, and she could make her visit in accordance with the law, the state media reported. Domestic media did not cover her pilgrimage tour.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 09 July 2011 12:03 )  

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