Hero's welcome as Suu Kyi starts US tour from Washington
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday opened a sweeping and once-unimaginable tour of the United States (US), where she will enjoy a hero's welcome from Americans inspired by her story.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner arrived in Washington just as Myanmar released more political prisoners, in a new sign of her country's dramatic reforms ahead of a separate trip by President Thein Sein to the United States next week.
Ms Suu Kyi, who spent most of the two decades until 2010 under house arrest, will be feted from Washington to university campuses as she holds nearly 100 events over 18 days in the country that has long rallied behind her cause.
The opposition leader and new member of parliament will meet Tuesday with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the next day will head to the Capitol to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, the top honour bestowed by Congress.