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Crowds greet Myanmar opposition leader

Feb. 11, 2012 at 4:18 PM   |   Comments

KAWHMU, Myanmar, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, released from house arrest soon after 2010 parliamentary elections, got a warm welcome on her first campaign stop.

Suu Kyi was greeted by crowds of cheering supporters in rural Myanmar on the stop, ahead of April by-elections, the BBC reported.

Supporters waved the flag of the National League for Democracy as she arrived in Kawhmu, which she is vying to represent, and some shouted, "We warmly welcome mother Suu!" and "Long live Daw [Aunt] Aung San Suu Kyi!"

Suu Kyi's party had won an overwhelming victory in 1990 elections but the military junta never allowed it to assume power.

Suu Kyi had been under house arrest most of the period between 1990 and 2010.

In the April elections, 48 seats are being contested.

Since Myanmar's military handed over power to a civilian administration last year, it has released hundreds of prisoners, signed a cease-fire with an insurgency and loosened restrictions on freedom of expression and trade unions.

The moves prompted the United States to lift one sanction, on delivery of some technical assistance from international financial institutions.

The BBC also reported Shin Gambira, an activist monk who led an uprising in 2007, has been released after being detained briefly.

His brother told the British broadcaster he had been taken early Friday morning from a monastery in Rangoon.

Gambira had been jailed in December 2007 but was freed last month as part of an amnesty for political prisoners.

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