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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid