Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's pro-democracy opposition leader, was released from house arrest by the country's governing military dictatorship in Yangon on Nov. 13. Suu Kyi, 65, held a bouquet of flowers in her hands at the gate of her home, where she appeared upon her release. Aung San Suu Kyi has been under arrest for the better part of the last 20 years.
Hours earlier, a senior official in Suu Kyi's political party, the National League for Democracy, said that she was expected to be imminently released.
"We've been told her release order has been signed, and she can be released today or tomorrow, but government officials won't confirm this," Mr. Win Tin had told the Bangkok Post.
Today the Nobel Peace Prize winner walked free with a large, jubilant crowd watching outside the high gate in front of the crumbling mansion where she has been incarcerated by Burma's junta for 15 of the past 21 years. The odd times when she was freed in the past, the Burmese junta severely restricted her travel. Her release last year was delayed, according to Burmese officials, due to American John Yettaw's ill-fated swim to her home. He claimed he was planning to rescue Suu Kyi.Last Sunday, in a ballot widely believed to have been rigged, the military junta won Burma's first elections in 20 years. In 1989, Burma's official name was changed by the governing military dictatorship to Myanmar.