The Straits Times
Published on Sep 14, 2012

Accolades and political risks for Suu Kyi in US


YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi will be feted by United States (US) President Barack Obama and given a top honour in her first visit in two decades to the United States, which has been an ardent supporter of her democracy struggle.

Ms Suu Kyi, who will leave Myanmar on Sunday, is destined for a red carpet welcome during her first visit to the US since she began her campaign for democracy - marked by years of house arrest - under the junta in 1988.

The Nobel laureate, who was elected to parliament this year in a dramatic sign of the country's reforms, will travel to Washington to meet Mr Obama whose government has been at the forefront of Western re-engagement with the long-time military dominated country.

"This will be a high-profile trip for Aung San Suu Kyi, who has significant star power in the US," said independent Myanmar analyst Richard Horsey, adding that it would be a chance to "showcase her international support".