Aung San Suu KyiMyanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives today in the U.S. capital of Washington to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. The occassion marks the start of an 18-day long tour of the United States as well as Aung San Suu Kyi’s first visit to the country since 1991.

While traveling in the United States, Aung San Suu Kyi will also meet with various leaders of Burmese expatriate groups.

Since being freed from house arrest in 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi has become a member of Myanmar’s parliament. Once a brutally repressive regime, Myanmar’s military rulers are implementing progressive reforms in the hopes of gaining economic concessions from foreign powers in exchange.

One sticking point between Myanmar and many in the international community is the large number of political prisoners the regime is said to keep incarcerated. Meaningful reforms, the likes of which would encourage the lifting of import restrictions, will also inevitably involve this humanitarian issue.

 

[Al Jazeera]