News / Europe

French President Pledges Support for Burma's Democracy

Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at Gare du Nord train station, Paris, June 26, 2012.
Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at Gare du Nord train station, Paris, June 26, 2012.
VOA News
French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday assured visiting Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi that France will do everything possible to support Burma's democratic transition.

"We support all the efforts that could be taken for the success of this transition," said President Hollande. "And France must be at the service of democracy.  Everything that can be done to support or to at times put pressure, will be done.  The president of Myanmar [Burma] was presented by Madame Aung San Suu Kyi as a sincere man in the [democratic] movement that he committed to.  If he wants to achieve it, he will.''

Burma's democratic leader arrived in Paris Tuesday on the final leg of her European tour.  At a joint press conference with Mr. Hollande, Aung San Suu Kyi said her country needs investment to revive its economy, but she said growth should not come at the expense of democratic reforms.

"We need the kind of help that will empower the people, empower the people by developing their skills as well as by creating opportunities for them," said Aung San Suu Kyi. "We say that Burma has come to the beginning of a new road.  But this new road has to be walked by new players as well.  If the same old people are going to take this new road, then we can say that this process of reform in Burma is not going the way that it should.  We want Burma to be a more inclusive society, where power is shared between all stake holders - that is to say, all those who are interested in bringing about political, social and economic reform in Burma."

The 67-year-old Nobel laureate told reporters that it is important to make Burma's military understand that democracy is for the good of everyone in the country, not only one segment of society.

Aung San Suu Kyi expressed confidence that Burma's President Thein Sein is sincere about supporting the country's democratic transition, but she said she could not speak for everyone in the Burmese government.

While in France, Aung San Suu Kyi also met with the heads of the National Assembly and the Senate, France's foreign minister, and the mayor of Paris.

Her two-week tour of Europe has also included stops in Britain, Switzerland, Ireland and Norway.

In Norway, she received the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize that was denied her while under house arrest in Burma.

During her stop in Britain, Aung San Suu Kyi addressed Parliament and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Oxford University, where she studied and lived with her family for years before returning to Burma in 1988.

A civilian government came to power in Burma last year, after the country's 2010 elections - Burma's first in 20 years.  Aung San Suu Kyi was released from a house arrest shortly after the vote.  She spent almost 15 years in some form of detention under the military government, which refused to step down when her party, the National League for Democracy, won a landslide election victory in 1991.   

The opposition leader and Burma's democracy icon, was elected to parliament this year.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lwin Aung from: Rangoon
June 27, 2012 1:43 AM
Myanmar is facing the so -called Rohinjar (Bengali) problem. Actually they came from Bangladesh by boat or cross the border by walk liked that Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Myanmar and Bangladesh border is about 100 miles long distance. We and they are totally different with culture, Language, different history, habits and others. I understand the Bangladesh population growing problem such about 150 to 200 million peoples. But it is facing the all countries of world. And Border area can’t guard full time.
After that they arrive in Myanmar, they become merchants, fisherman and farmers illegally previous time. But it is also limited for that region’s Rakhine nationals. Now their population is about one million and they are many more than region’s Rakhine nationals. They are not stay steadily and they ( so-called Rohinjar/ Bengali ) give us many troubles. Sometimes they become Rohinjar rebles back by Islamic extremist groups.
I worry if they (Bangladesh) don’t accept their nationals, it will be become big problem. I don’t think, third country liked US, Canada, Japan and Australia can’t be accepted such Bengalis.
Please don’t pressure to accept that problem to our nation’s problem because our nation has a lot of problem with weaken economy.
We like and believe U Thein Sein and Daw Aung San Su Kyi. They are going to Democracy, economy reform and peace process together. Thank you.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid