Myanmar(Burma)'s half century of military rule made the country something of a pariah in the international community, inviting crippling sanctions. But President Thein Sein has introduced political and economic reforms in recent years and the U.S. administration is considering easing the main plank of its remaining sanctions, a ban on imports.
Suu Kyi said the sanctions were effective in pushing the junta to reform, but that "they should now be lifted" so that Myanmar(Burma) can rebuild its economy.
"We cannot only depend on external support and support of our friends from other nations. We should also depend on ourselves to reach this goal," she said.
Suu Kyi has already stopped in New York, Louisville, Ky., and Washington, D.C., where she met with President Barack Obama and received the Congressional Gold Medal. Thein Sein separately is visiting New York this week to attend the U.N. General Assembly, making him the first Myanmar(Burma) leader to visit the US in more than 40 years.
Hundreds of supporters lined up outside the arena hours before Suu Kyi was due to speak. As the doors opened at 7:30 a.m., supporters flooded inside to claim the best seats.