Bangkok, May 30 (IANS) Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has vowed to help migrant workers from Myanmar.
The Nobel Laureate is in Thailand on her first trip outside her homeland since 1988, as she always feared either being detained or not being allowed to return in case she left Myanmar.
But recent reforms paved the way for her getting elected to parliament last month.
On Wednesday, crowds of people, some of them carrying posters reading “We want to go home” greeted Suu Kyi in Mahachai area in the south of Bangkok where many migrants work. She arrived in Thailand Tuesday to attend the World Economic Forum Friday, BBC reported.
“I’m here but I feel like I’m in Burma (Myanmar),” Suu Kyi said with a smile, as she addressed the crowd from a balcony. “Aung San Suu Kyi – democracy,” they chanted back.
By coming to Mahachai and speaking to Myanmarese migrants first, she delivered a clear message as to where her priorities still lie.
Mahachai, a hub for processing and canning seafood, has factories employing tens of thousands of Myanmarese workers who arrived here to escape dire economic conditions back home.
“Don’t feel down, or weak. History is always changing,” Suu Kyi told the crowds. “Today, I will make you one promise: I will try my best for you.”
During her visit, Suu Kyi is also scheduled to meet Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and participate in various sessions and discussions of the world economic forum Friday.
After the Thailand tour, Suu Kyi has plans to return to Myanmar before travelling to Europe in June. She intends to go to Norway to formally accept the Nobel Peace Prize which she won in 1991, and will also visit Britain where she has family.
She has accepted an invitation to address the British parliament June 21. It has been reported that she would also travel to Geneva and Paris, as also to Ireland.