Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aung San Suu Kyi calls for more international support for Burma

Aung San Suu Kyi calls for more international support for Burma


Human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi has called for a boost in international support in Burma. In a Deutsche Welle debate, she has asserted that more needs to be done to achieve political change.


In a round table discussion devoted to the future of Burma (Myanmar), the country's human rights activist and leading opposition politician, Aung San Suu Kyi stressed that more international support was needed in Burma to bring about democratic reforms.The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate said that despite recent elections, there had been no meaningful political change.

"I know there were elections. But the government that took over after the elections consists of the same people that were in power before them," she told a forum which was organized by DW-TV in collaboration with the Hertie School of Governance.Speaking from a secret location in Rangoon, she lamented the lack of international support and poorly coordinated international aid.

Europe, she said, was "unfortunately too disunited" when it came to Burma, adding that other countries and international organizations needed to become involved as well."I do not believe that Europe, the ASEAN states or the US can help Burma on their own. A coordinated approach is needed," she told a group of students, lecturers and journalists.
Human rights abuses
Aung San Suu KyiSuu Kyi was released from house arrest last year
During the discussion, Aung San Suu Kyi also noted that, insofar as people in her country had any access to uncensored media sources at all, they were following developments in the Arab world with great interest.Young people in Burma, she said, were slowly realizing that they would have to take their fate into their own hands if they wanted to bring about change.

Aung San Suu Kyi, is Burma's most famous dissident. She was released from house arrest last winter after decades of outspoken condemnation of the repressive Burmese military regime.Burma held its first elections in twenty years in November last year, but it is believed that the Burmese military remains highly influential.On Friday, a senior US diplomat returning from a visit to the isolated country expressed concerns about human rights abuses and the regime's relations with North Korea.

A US Embassy statement said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Yun had reiterated the United States' willingness to improve relations provided the government took "meaningful, concrete steps toward democratic governance, respect for human rights and the release of all political prisoners."

Author: Charlotte Chelsom-Pill
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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