Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi has made her first trip out of Rangoon since her release from house detention last year.
Suu Kyi has travelled to the ancient temple city of Bagan – about 320 miles north of Rangoon -- with one of her sons, Kim Aris, who described the trip as a “holiday.”
Suu Kyi reportedly will visit the birthplace of her father, the former general and independence leader Aung San.
Although the conditions for her release did not prohibit leaving Rangoon, the government has nonetheless warned her from holding any semblance of a public rally.
The military-backed regime also recently warned Suu Kyi’s party. the National League for Democracy, from any political activity.
It's nerve-racking. We are concerned for her safety, said Soe Aung, a member of the Bangkok-based Forum for Democracy in Burma, according to reports.
There are fears of disorder. In 2003, when she ventured outside of Rangoon, her convoy was attacked by troops connected to the nation’s ruling military elite. While she escaped the ambush unharmed, she Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest.
As such, her visit to Bagan was intentionally low-key – she reportedly was greeted by reporters and security forces dressed in plainclothes.
She will reportedly stay in Bagan for four days.
Separately, a high-ranking diplomat in the Burmese embassy in Washington DC, Kyaw Win, has defected.
Senior military officials are consolidating their grip on power and seeking to stamp out the voices of those seeking democracy, he told Radio Free Asia.
He also said that threats against Suu Kyi must be taken seriously.