News / Asia

Burma's Democratic Reforms on 'Right Track,' Albright Says

Burma's Vice President Nyan Tun shakes hands with former U.S.  Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during their meeting in Naypyitaw, Burma, June 3, 2013.
Burma's Vice President Nyan Tun shakes hands with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during their meeting in Naypyitaw, Burma, June 3, 2013.
VOA News
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has praised Burma's democratic reforms while on a visit to the commercial capital of Rangoon.

Speaking to VOA's Burmese service at Rangoon University on Tuesday, Albright said she believes the reforms introduced since Burma ended decades of military dictatorship in 2011 are unlikely to be reversed.

"The sense that I got from all the various groups that I talked to was that while they see problems, they also are trying to figure out solutions and trying to find ways that they can learn from their own mistakes but also examples from other countries, so I think that they are on the right track," she said.

Albright is making her first visit to Burma since 1995, when she was serving as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

In recent days, she has been meeting Burmese officials, politicians and civil society groups in her role as chairwoman of the U.S. National Democratic Institute, a U.S. government body that promotes democracy in developing nations.

Albright said the United States has done a lot in recent months to support Burma's reform efforts, from easing sanctions to exchanging visits by each country's president. She said her institute also has been training lawmakers and political party members in Burma and hosting Burmese on U.S. exchange programs.

Albright said the United States should not be the only country encouraging reforms in Burma.

"They need the support of the international community. They need to have a variety of different help, whether it is in training and education, some [help] obviously in investment and economic assistance. They have a very, very large gap between the rich and the poor and [Burmese] people have expectations. So, they have to figure out how to meet those expectations," she said.

The former top U.S. diplomat also called for boosting the political and economic role of women in Burma, where only 33 women serve in the 440-seat lower house of parliament.

"I say that not just because I am a woman and a feminist, but because we know that when half of the population is female and you don't use their talents, then you are wasting a resource," she said. "And so I think that women have to be in political life, women have to own businesses, hep in economic life and men need to understand that it is better for the country."

Albright ends her five-day visit to Burma Wednesday. She met with Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in the administrative capital of Naypyidaw on Monday.

You May Like

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to the Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: thuong from: san jose
June 05, 2013 3:03 AM
Burmese leaders have seen the dangerous if they keep go w/China; so that they turn around 180 degrees for their people.

And what about the Vietnamese Communist party leaders???
The whole part is just the whole bunch of cowardly and greedy.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid