News / Asia

Burma Democracy Leader Aung San Suu Kyi Meets Government Official

Burma's Labor and Social Welfare Minister Aung Kyi, right, reads a statement to the media after meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, left, at Seinlekhanthar government guest house in Yangon, July 25, 2011
Burma's Labor and Social Welfare Minister Aung Kyi, right, reads a statement to the media after meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, left, at Seinlekhanthar government guest house in Yangon, July 25, 2011
Daniel Schearf

Burma’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has met with an official of the new government, the first such meeting since her release from house arrest. The meeting raises hopes for a regular dialogue between her and the military-dominated government. But, there is skepticism that the talks will lead to genuine reforms.

Burma’s Labor and Social Welfare Minister Aung Kyi says he and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi talked about the rule of law and cooperating in the interests of the country and people. Reading a statement to journalists after their meeting Monday, he said they both viewed the discussion positively and that they would meet again.

It was the first time a government official met with the Aung San Suu Kyi since she was released from house arrest after last year’s election.

She has sought a dialogue with the government on improving the country’s poor human rights record and efforts at democracy.

Zin Linn, a spokesman for the Burma government in exile in Thailand, says there are worries that the meeting, like past ones, is just for show. He points out the two met nine times while Aung San Suu Kyi was under house arrest, with little to show for it.

"If they are really going along to the democracy path, they should release the political prisoners," said Zin Linn. "So, they should release these political prisoners and stop fighting against the ethnic peoples. And also, they should first of all reform their law and order system. There is no law at all in Burma."

The meeting came just days after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for dialogue between the two sides at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Indonesia.

Burma hopes hold ASEAN’s rotating chair in 2014. Zin Linn says the government may want to deflect international opposition to the idea.

"So, that's why this time also I think due to the U.S. pressure and also they have a proposal to the ASEAN to have their chair in 2014, to pass such difficulties, I think they show this talk as a softened stance," said Zin Linn.

Despite the skepticism, there are signs of improved relations between the government and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Earlier this month, officials invited her to a ceremony honoring her late father, a hero of Burma’s struggle for independence.

Burma’s nominally civilian government took office in March after decades of direct military rule.

But the election in November was widely condemned as a sham designed to disguise continued military rule.

Aung San Suu Kyi was banned from participating and the government disbanded her National League for Democracy, the largest opposition, for boycotting the polls.

A military-backed party won the controversial elections amid reports of widespread fraud and intimidation.

The NLD won Burma’s previous election in 1990 by a landslide but the military refused to let it take power.

The military government arrested opposition leaders, and many were forced to flee the country.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid