Aung San Suu Kyi calls for unity
By Deutsche Presse Agentur

Rangoon - Burma's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday called for unity to face the nation's challenges, as she addressed thousands of supporters the day after her release from house arrest.

"We must work together," she told about 10,000 supporters outside her National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Yangon.

The crowd, many of them waving "We Love Suu" placards, cheered the Nobel Peace laureate and called her "mother" or "sister."

No security personnel were visible on the streets, but soldiers were seen in a building opposite NLD headquarters.

Suu Kyi, 65, was released Saturday evening after completing her latest 18-month sentence, which was added on to a previous six-year sentence. She has spent 15 of the past 20 years under house arrest.

She said Sunday that she wanted to listen to the opinions of other people before making any decision on her own future plans.

The ruling junta granted her freedom after it stage-managed a general election on November 7 that was widely criticised as a sham.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party, a junta proxy, has won an estimated 80 per cent of the 1,159 contested seats in the three chambers of parliament.

The party has been accused of tampering with advance ballots, and bribing or intimidating voters.

THE NATION