SYDNEY— Burma’s [also called Myanmar] pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Sydney on Wednesday for her first Australian visit.
The National League for Democracy lawmaker is on a five-day trip to Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra and will make a number of speeches, including one at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was welcomed by scores of fans from the Burma diaspora at Sydney airport.
Suu Kyi is guest of Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and will meet Prime Minister Tony Abbott. On Wednesday afternoon, she met with New South Wales state governor Marie Bashir.
“I’m getting a feel for what it’s like because this is my first time south of the equator — it feels a little strange,” Suu Kyi told reporters. “And also to explain what we’re doing in Burma at the moment … trying to get the constitution amended so that we can be firmly on the road to genuine democracy.”
Suu Kyi has persevered for decades in promoting democracy. She and her National League for Democracy party were frozen out of politics by the military regime that governed until 2011, but last year she and several dozen party members won parliamentary seats.
A clause in the army-dictated constitution disqualifies her from becoming president, but the 68-year-old is seeking the constitutional changes that would allow her to seek the presidency.