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Suu Kyi reassures Fort Wayne's Burmese about changes in their homeland

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 3:47 pm

Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi brought a message of hope to fellow Burmese who fled the authoritarian government that held her under house arrest for nearly 20 years in their homeland.

Thousands of Burmese, along with students and others, gathered Tuesday morning in Memorial Coliseum to hear the Nobel Peace Prize winner speak.

After introductory remarks by Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein, and welcoming committee chairman Tun Oo, she was welcomed by a standing ovatation and chants Her speach was punctuated with applause.

In British-accented English, she thanked those who had organized her visit and said democracy is "the power to resolve problems and find right answers through debate."

She then spoke in Burmese about ways her homeland has changed, calling on the Burmese to avoid discord.

Afterward she answered questions in English and Burmese.

Suu Kyi, who was released in 2010 and is now a member of her country's national aseembly, said much has changed, but there is still more to do on the road to democracy.

As she said earlier during her tour of the U.S., with stops in Washington to received the Conressional Honor Medal and to see Burmese in New York and San Franciso, sanctions against Burma should be lifted so it can improve economically.

Read more in Wednesday's News-Sentinel and online at www.news-sentinel.com.