Aung San Suu Kyi Attends Martyr’s Day Ceremony, March to Follow

Posted July 19th, 2011 at 1:45 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi appeared for the first time in nine years Tuesday at an official ceremony honoring her father and other fallen national heroes.

She was expected to return to the Martyrs' Mausoleum in Rangoon later Tuesday on an unauthorized march with several hundred members of her banned National League for Democracy.

At her morning appearance, Aung San Suu Kyi laid flowers at the memorial to her father, Aung San, and other Burmese independence leaders who were assassinated on July 19, 1947. It was her first appearance at the annual ceremony since she was placed under house arrest in 2003.

The government this week invited the outspoken political leader to take part in the ceremony, along with other descendents of the independence heroes. However, it was not clear how authorities would respond to the march by NLD members scheduled for later Tuesday.

Party spokesmen said as many as 400 members were expected to gather at the party headquarters in Rangoon and then march to the mausoleum to pay their respects.

The NLD was ordered to disband as a political party after it refused to participate in elections in November, complaining the rules were unfair. Its appeal of the decision through the courts was rejected.

The 2010 elections produced a government that is overwhelmingly controlled by members and close allies of the long-ruling military junta that preceded it. More than 2,000 political prisoners remain in the country's jails.