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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs