Thousands of wildly cheering supporters greeted Myanmar pro-democracy hero Aung San Suu Kyi as she arrived at the headquarters of her political party, a day after her unconditional release from seven years under house arrest.
“This is an unconditional release. No restrictions are placed on her,” her lawyer Nyan Win said.
Arriving by car from the lakeside residence that has been her prison, the 65-year-old slipped into the ramshackle headquarters of her National League for Democracy as people shouted “We love Suu” amid thunderous applause.
Inside, she met with Yangon-based diplomats, and then addressed a crowd of about 5,000 supporters, urging them to stand up for their rights.
“I believe in human rights and I believe in the rule of law. I will always fight for these things,” she said. “I want to work with all democratic forces and I need the support of the people.”
Suu Kyi told her followers there was no reason to lose heart.
“The basis of democratic freedom is freedom of speech.”
The Nobel Laureate also said: “If we want to get what we want, we have to do it in the right way.”
“Democracy is when the people keep a government in check. I will accept the people keeping me in check,” Reuters quoted her as saying.
“You have to stand up for what is right.”
She said she had been listening to media broadcasts for up to six hours a day and “thought she knew what the people wanted to a certain extent”.
“I don’t have any antagonism toward the people who kept me under house arrest…the security officials treated me well. I want to ask [the junta] to treat the people well also.”