Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived here Tuesday
on a six-day visit during which she will meet India's leaders as
well as friends from her school and college days in Delhi.
An icon of the pro-democracy movement in her country, Nobel
laureate Suu Kyi flashed a traditional "namaste" after stepping
out of the aircraft that brought her from Yangon.
This will be Suu Kyi's first visit to India in nearly 40 years,
according to newsmagazine Irrawaddy.
An aide told IANS that she will mostly rest Tuesday, enjoying the
colourful festival of Diwali, before beginning her engagements
Alana Golmei, coordinator of the Burma Centre Delhi, told IANS:
"She will mostly rest after her journey. She has a busy day
She will start Wednesday by visiting Rajghat and Shantivan, paying
homage to Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, and follow it up
with a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
In an interview published in The Hindu newspaper Tuesday, the
67-year-old said she would like to "see my old friends again, just
to talk with them, just to be with them".
Suu Kyi studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary School and
graduated in political science from Lady Shri Ram College, one of
Delhi's most reputed colleges, when her mother was Burma's envoy
The mother and daughter -- Suu Kyi's father was a friend of Nehru,
India's first prime minister -- lived in the 1960s on 24 Akbar
Road, now the headquarters of the Congress party.
"I would like to see the old places, the places where I spent time
as a teenager, Lady Shri Ram College, see how it is going -- that
is on a personal level," she told The Hindu.
She is expected to meet students and the faculty of LSR, as her
college is known.
On the political level, she said she wanted closer relations
between the people of the two countries because a gulf had emerged
in recent years.
India is also keen for a greater engagement with the multi-party
polity in Myanmar, where President Thein Sein has implemented a
series of economic and political reforms since 2011.
Also Wednesday, she will deliver the Nehru Memorial Lecture on the
occasion of his birth anniversary.
Suu Kyi is also scheduled to meet Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok
Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
She will visit The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in
Gurgaon, before flying to Bangalore and Andhra Pradesh.
India awarded Suu Kyi the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International
Understanding in 1992 while she was under house arrest under the
military government in Myanmar.
During the Indian prime minister's visit to Myanmar in May, Suu
Kyi had spoken of the need for greater exchanges between the
people of the two countries.
The Myanmar community here is all agog about Suu Kyi's visit, the
first by her to India in nearly 40 years.
"Everybody is excited and happy. We only expect that good things
come out of the visit and it marks a new beginning for
Indo-Burmese relations," said Golmei.
On Friday, Suu Kyi will meet members of the Myanmar community at
west Delhi's Prospect Burma School, which she helps fund.
Most people from Myanmar in Delhi (15,000) live in Vikaspuri,
where the school is located. They are refugees, with the majority
belonging to Chin state which borders India.
Golmei said: "This visit would be mostly about renewing old ties
and meeting old friends who had supported her in her years of