Aung San Suu Kyi Resumes European Tour after Brief Illness

Posted June 15th, 2012 at 11:30 am (UTC-5)
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Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi got a celebrity's welcome Friday when she visited a session of the Swiss parliament. The Nobel laureate is continuing her trip through Europe despite a brief illness.

Supporters of the rights group Amnesty International waited outside the Swiss parliament building in Bern to greet her with cheers and banners praising her human-rights work.

Inside parliament, lawmakers stood to applaud when she entered the chamber. She stayed to observe the day's debate.

Aung San Suu Kyi's 67th birthday is on Tuesday. She now is in Norway, where she will deliver a long-delayed speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991. She was barred from traveling to Oslo when the prize was awarded, and she spent most of the past two decades under various forms of detention in Burma.

Later in her 17-day tour of Europe, Aung San Suu Kyi will address Britain's Parliament and receive an Amnesty International human-rights award in Dublin from rock star Bono. She will also travel to France.

On Thursday a state dinner in Switzerland was canceled after the Burmese democracy leader became ill at a news conference due to exhaustion from her long flight from Burma to Europe. This is Aung San Suu Kyi's first major trip abroad in 24 years. She was released from house arrest in late 2010.

Political changes have swept Burma since last year, after half a century of military rule ended. A new, nominally civilian government took over in March of last year, after being elected in November of 2010. Aung San Suu Kyi won a parliamentary seat this year in April elections.