Supporters throng streets as Myanmar leader Suu Kyi returns from The Hague

By Zaw Naing Oo NAYPYITAW (Reuters) - Thousands of supporters of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi thronged the streets of the capital Naypyitaw on Saturday to celebrate her arrival back from The Hague, where she defended the country against genocide charges. The Nobel laureate waved as her black car drove slowly past crowds who waved flags, held up pictures of her face and shouted jubilant greetings.

Reuters December 15, 2019 00:10:40 IST
Supporters throng streets as Myanmar leader Suu Kyi returns from The Hague

Supporters throng streets as Myanmar leader Suu Kyi returns from The Hague

By Zaw Naing Oo

NAYPYITAW (Reuters) - Thousands of supporters of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi thronged the streets of the capital Naypyitaw on Saturday to celebrate her arrival back from The Hague, where she defended the country against genocide charges.

The Nobel laureate waved as her black car drove slowly past crowds who waved flags, held up pictures of her face and shouted jubilant greetings.

"Mother Suu went to the court on behalf of the country," local farmer Khin Maung Shwe told Reuters. "Actually the accusation was against the army. But she took the first step of responsibility as a leader of the nation."

Gambia has accused Myanmar of violating the 1948 Genocide Convention over a military campaign that drove more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar. It has asked the International Court of Justice to order "provisional measures" to prevent more harm.

Suu Kyi led a team to the Netherlands for three days of hearings, during which she denied genocide and argued the U.N. court should not have jurisdiction.

"Myanmar requests the court to remove the case from its list," Suu Kyi said on the final day of hearings on Thursday. "In the alternative (the court should) reject the request for provisional measures submitted by the Gambia."

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate's surprise decision to attend the hearings in person has dealt a further blow to her tarnished international reputation.

Suu Kyi was long feted in the West as a champion of human rights and democracy, and was a high-profile political prisoner during 15 years of house arrest for her opposition to Myanmar's then ruling military junta.

But her stance on the Rohingya issue has seen her stripped of many awards, calls for the Nobel committee to revoke her peace prize and strong criticism from former celebrity supporters and other organizations.

At home however, Suu Kyi, the daughter of Myanmar's founding father Aung San, is still revered by many.

The proceedings in the Hague have galvanized supporters, who have staged rallies across the country chanting "Stand with Suu Kyi" and waving flags.

(Reporting by Zaw Naing Oo; Writing by Poppy McPherson; Editing by Alex Richardson)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.