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Suu Kyi to Take First Overseas Trip Since 1988 in U.K. Visit

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar opposition leader. Photographer: Soe Than Win/AFP/Getty Images

April 19 (Bloomberg) -- Former Myanmar political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi plans to travel to the U.K. and Norway in her first overseas trip since returning to her homeland in 1988 to care for her ailing mother.

The details of the trip are still being worked out, Nyan Win, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy party, said by telephone today. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron invited Suu Kyi to visit Britain in June during a visit last week to her lakeside home in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city.

Suu Kyi, 66, won a seat in Parliament during April 1 by-elections in which her party won 43 of 45 legislative seats up for grabs. The vote, part of President Thein Sein’s efforts to shift Myanmar toward democracy, prompted U.S. and European Union leaders to advocate for easing sanctions against the former military dictatorship.

General Aung San, Suu Kyi’s father who led the fight for independence from Britain in the 1940s, was assassinated when she was two years old. Suu Kyi went on to study at Oxford University, married a British citizen and had two children while living in the U.K.

Her return to Myanmar in 1988 coincided with an uprising against military rulers that started her political career. She spent 15 years under house arrest from 1989, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in that time for her non-violent struggle.

She was first detained prior to 1990 elections in which her party won about 80 percent of seats for a committee to draft a new constitution. The military rejected the results.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok at dtenkate@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net

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