News

    Burma Opposition Ends Boycott as UN Chief Addresses Parliament

    Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to reporters at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy party, April 30, 2012, in Rangoon.
    Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi talks to reporters at the headquarters of her National League for Democracy party, April 30, 2012, in Rangoon.

    Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her opposition National League for Democracy party have ended their week-long boycott of parliament, after accepting oath-of-office language that calls on her party to "safeguard" the constitution.

    The Nobel laureate and 42 other NLD colleagues will enter Burma's parliament for the first time Wednesday. They had objected to the words "safeguard the constitution," arguing the language was crafted by a military junta that ruled the country for decades and jailed thousands of democracy activists.

    The tactical retreat came Monday, as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the Burmese parliament, in a show of support for democratic reforms initiated by the new, nominally-civilian government that took office last year.

    "The dramatic changes sweeping Myanmar [Burma] have inspired the world.  And we know that your ambitions for the future reach higher still," Ban said. "I have no doubt that Myanmar will quickly regain its place as a respected and responsible member of the international community."

    Burma's President Thein Sein (L) and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shake hands before their meeting.
    Burma's President Thein Sein (L) and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shake hands before their meeting.
    Ban, speaking in the administrative capital, Naypyitaw, hailed what he called the "vision, leadership and courage" of President Thein Sein, whose post-election initiatives include clearing the way for Aung San Suu Kyi and her party's successful run for office April 1.

    The U.N. chief also praised the international community for its moves to ease long-standing sanctions imposed on the former military regime, and called for foreign investment.

    "I urge the international community to go even further in lifting, suspending or easing trade restrictions and other sanctions," he said. "Second, Myanmar needs a substantial increase in international development assistance as well as foreign direct investment."

    Meanwhile, in Rangoon, Aung San Suu Kyi addressed the NLD decision to be seated in the new parliament.  She said she and her NLD colleagues were yielding to "the desires of the people" who elected them, and to those who have voiced disapproval for her party's boycott of the legislative body.

    She is set to meet with the U.N. chief Tuesday, ahead of Mr. Ban's scheduled visit to upper Burma's Shan state.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Wunna
    May 02, 2012 3:39 AM
    It would be naive to assume that hardliners only exist in Myanmar arm forces. She take a stand that she later found was not the will of the people previously because she thought it was in the best interest of NLD and people of Myanmar as a whole. People make mistakes. But it takes enormous courage and true democratic spirit to acknowledge a mistake which is not entirely her own it and take necessary action on the world stage solely for the people and the country. Well done Ma'am!

    by: May Than Si
    May 02, 2012 2:14 AM
    Please compromise and work together with the government for better bright future for the myanmar people.Not for your popular point of view.

    by: Mango
    April 30, 2012 5:10 AM
    This is the first time ever of the high ranging global UN secretary of state to be present in Burma which is considered as a country in a critical one and i do hope Mr. Ban will surely help insist this country to be able to have full freedom as soon as possible. Mr. Ban Ki Moon is the hero of the globe.

    by: Sam
    April 30, 2012 2:14 AM
    Did she earlier on forget that it was the people who elected her to represent them? I guess the people were not dumb and knew the correct wording of the constitution before electing her and the other NLD members.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora