14 Nov 2010

Freed Myanmar leader Suu Kyi addresses crowd

9:50 pm on 14 November 2010

Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has addressed thousands of her supporters, a day after her release from house arrest.

She told an estimated 4000 cheering supporters on Sunday in her first major speech since being freed from house arrest that she understands "what they want".

"If we want to get what we want, we have to do it in the right way," she said, adding that the "basis of democratic freedom is freedom of speech."

She added that she had been listening to media broadcasts for up to six hours a day and "thought she knew what the people wanted to a certain extent".

Miss Suu Kyi pledged to continue her work towards national reconciliation, and had no ill-feelings towards those who detained her.

"They treated me well. I only wish they treated the people in the same way," she said.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has spent 15 of the past 21 years in home detention because of her opposition to 48 years of military rule in the former Burma.

She was speaking at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy party, where thousands had gathered.

The BBC reports that her car was mobbed as she made her way for the first time from her house to the party offices.

She met foreign diplomats before coming out to address the crowd.