The Straits Times
Published on Sep 16, 2012

Myanmar's Suu Kyi departs on landmark US visit


YANGON (AFP) - Democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi left Myanmar on Sunday for a landmark trip to the United States, set to see her feted by the US president and quizzed on the progress of reforms.

The Nobel laureate, who was elected to parliament this year, flew out of Yangon accompanied by new US ambassador to Myanmar Derek Mitchell, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

Ms Suu Kyi's high profile visit, the first to the US since she began her democracy struggle in 1988, will include a trip to Washington to meet US President Barack Obama whose government has been at the forefront of Western re-engagement with the long-time military dominated country.

She will also be showered in awards including the Congressional Gold Medal, the top honour bestowed by the US Congress, and meet Burmese diaspora groups as far apart as New York and San Francisco.