The two reasons I kept going, by Aung San Suu Kyi

PRO-DEMOCRACY campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi spoke of the strength she had drawn from her supporters around the world in standing up to the Burmese military junta as she arrived in the UK yesterday.

On her first visit to the UK in 24 years – much of which she has spent under house arrest in Rangoon – the Burmese opposition leader paid tribute to the warmth and support that had kept her going.

The Nobel laureate was received with enthusiastic applause by an audience at the London School of Economics at the start of a four-day visit to Britain, once her home. She will address Parliament tomorrow.

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Ms Suu Kyi, whose 67th birthday was yesterday, had Happy Birthday sung to her at the end of a panel discussion on the rule of law at the LSE.

She was also presented with a framed photograph of her father in London in 1947 and an LSE baseball cap – a present also awarded to Nelson Mandela when he visited the university.

She told her audience: “During this journey I have found great warmth and great support among people all over the world.”

She said in Thailand at the end of last month she had been welcomed “as if I was one of them”, adding: “This I have found in Switzerland and Norway, yesterday evening in Ireland and now here in England.

“So it’s all of you and people like you who have given me the strength to continue.”

To laughter, she added: “And I suppose I do have a stubborn streak in me.”

Ms Suu Kyi also delivered an impassioned plea for reforms in Burma to be underpinned by the rule of law.

“Unless justice is done and seen to be done we cannot believe in genuine reform,” she said. And she urged foreign investors to be mindful of the impact their business might have in Burma.