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Suu Kyi tells supporters to work with her for change

By the CNN Wire Staff
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'The Lady' of Myanmar speaks out
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Suu Kyi tells supporters she needs their help to bring about democracy
  • "I am for national reconciliation. I am for dialogue," Suu Kyi says
  • She speaks at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy party
  • Her comments come a day after Myanmar's military junta freed her from house arrest

(CNN) -- Freed democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi told her supporters Sunday that she needs their help in her efforts to bring change to Myanmar.

"I'm not going to be able to do it alone," Suu Kyi said. "You've got to do it with me. One person alone can't do anything as important as bringing change and democracy to a country."

She said she was treated well during her years of house arrest by Myanmar's ruling generals, but said the country needs to return to the rule of law.

"I am for national reconciliation, I am for dialogue ... whatever authority I have, I would like to use toward that end. And I hope the people will support me," she said, speaking to reporters at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy party.

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The country's ruling military junta freed Suu Kyi from house arrest Saturday to a throng of joyous supporters who rushed toward her house once the gates were opened. The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient had spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest for her dogged opposition to authoritarian rule in the nation formerly known as Burma.

"They have treated me well on a personal basis. But they have not acted in accordance with the rule [of law]. And that I shall always fight against. Because I don't think any country can survive as a prosperous and dignified nation unless there is rule of law," she said Sunday. "The people cannot have security unless there is rule of law. And I believe my treatment and that of all prisoners is not within the norms of justice, but that does not mean that I have been ill treated personally."

Recently, Suu Kyi had little outside human contact except for two maids and visits from her doctor. Sometimes, she spoke to supporters over the wall of her compound.

A group of fellow Nobel Peace laureates, gathered in Hiroshima, Japan, rejoiced at Suu Kyi's release, former South African President F.W. De Klerk said Saturday.

"I am speaking to you from Hiroshima where I and a number of other Nobel Peace Laureate are gathered for a conference on the issue of nuclear weapons," De Klerk said. "And all of us are delighted to hear the news. We think it's wonderful news. We are glad that [Suu Kyi's release] appears to be without any condition. We sincerely hope that her release will bring about four steps forward for the issue of democracy in Burma."

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