Washington: Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived Monday in Washington, where she will be presented Congress` highest award. It`s the latest milestone in her remarkable journey from political prisoner to globe-trotting stateswoman.
The Nobel Peace laureate embarks on a 17-day US tour that will include meetings at the State Department and likely the White House. She then goes to New York, the American Midwest and California. The trip comes as the Obama administration considers easing remaining sanctions on the country, also known as Burma.
She will meet tomorrow with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Since her release from house arrest in late 2010, Suu Kyi has transitioned from dissident to parliamentarian as Myanmar has shifted from five decades of repressive military rule, gaining international acceptance for a former pariah regime.
After being confined to her homeland since 1989 because she was either under detention or afraid she wouldn`t be permitted to return, Suu Kyi has in the past four months spread her wings. She has traveled to Thailand and five nations in Europe, where she was accorded honors usually reserved for heads of state.
Revered by Republicans and Democrats alike, Suu Kyi will get star treatment too in the US, although her schedule is being carefully planned to avoid upstaging the itinerary of Myanmar President Thein Sein, who arrives in the US the following week to attend the UN General Assembly`s annual gathering of world leaders in New York.