The Burmese pro-democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has toured the United States for two weeks. This week, she’ll attend a much-awaited meeting with Southern California’s Burmese diaspora.
The 66-year-old activist has spent most of the last two decades under house arrest in Burma while her popularity has grown at home and abroad.
The military-led government in the country also called Myanmar has begun to allow its citizens more political freedom and to invite diplomatic exchanges with Western countries. In elections a few months ago, Suu Kyi won a parliamentary seat in the new government.
Toward the end of her U.S. visit, Suu Kyi plans a meeting at Los Angeles Convention Center with Burmese immigrants and refugees who left the country because of political repression and economic hardship.
The latest US Census indicates that about 100,000 people of Burmese descent live in this country – most in the Southland.
During her Los Angeles visit, Suu Kyi expects to focus on the easing of American sanctions towards Burma, and on the role of Burmese-Americans in triggering economic development in their native country.