News / Asia

Burma’s Suu Kyi Prepares for US Visit

Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi attends a regular session of the parliament in Naypyitaw, August 14, 2012.
Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi attends a regular session of the parliament in Naypyitaw, August 14, 2012.
Ron Corben
Burma’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is set to embark on a visit to the United States, highlighted by awards and meetings with senior U.S. government leaders and the Burmese community. It comes as Burma's President Thein Sein is also to travel to the U.S.  Human rights concerns are also expected to be on the agenda.

In her first trip to the United States in two decades, Burma’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, will be given awards for her long struggle for political reform in Burma and will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama.
 
Aung San Suu Kyi spent the better part of two decades under house arrest for her campaign for political reform in Burma - also known as Myanmar.   Among the awards she is to receive is the Congressional Gold Medal, the U.S. Congress' highest civilian award.
 
The more than two-week trip to the U.S. follows a visit to Europe earlier this year where she formally received her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.
 
Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit marks comes during political reform in Burma under President Thein Sein. After being released from house arrest, the opposition leader was elected to parliament this year, marking a full transition from life as a political prisoner.
 
Debbie Stothard, spokeswoman for rights group, the Alternative Asean Network, says while the U.S. trip is a “celebration”, Aung San Suu Kyi should tell supporters  many issues remain unresolved in Burma.
 
“For many people Aung San Suu Kyi’s trips to Europe and the U.S. this year is as celebration that after two decades of campaigning, that this turning point should be celebrated," she said. "However, Aung San Suu Kyi’s message should also be that there’s still a long way to go, you still have to be careful and not take any positive developments for granted.”

 The U.S. visit coincides with that by Burma's President Thein Sein, who is due to attend the U.N. General Assembly this month. Some analysts say Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit will overshadow the president.

But Sean Turnell, an associate professor at Macquarie University, says the visits will compliment each other.
 
“One of the really good things about Thein Sein -- he’s only to be there for a term - He’s got a view very much on his legacy about setting Burma up in the right way. And in a sense Suu Kyi is a considerable asset to him. Because she’s an extraordinarily popular figure she put’s Burma on the map in ways that nobody else really can,” he said.
 
Turnell says the U.S. is likely to announce a further easing of trade sanctions on Burma.
 
Other analysts say Aung San Suu Kyi may face questioning over her stance on the sensitive issues of inter-ethnic clashes between Muslim and Buddhist communities in Western Rakhine State that have left dozens killed and injured and hundreds of homes destroyed.

Ko Bo Kyi, a spokesman for the Thai-based rights group, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners Burma (AAPP) says Aung San Suu Kyi should draw attention to ongoing human rights issues in Burma.
 
“[Suu Kyi] will be asked questions about what is happening in Arakan (Rakhine) State," he said. "These are important things for Burma. She might be asked what is happening in Kachin State - the civil war in Kachin State. [But] her trip cannot change U.S. policy without changing the ground situation especially without stopping human rights violations all across Burma.”
 
Ko Bo Kyi says there is the need for release of all remaining political prisoners as well as efforts to halt the ongoing conflicts in eastern Burma before further changes in U.S policy should be expected.

Besides the Congressional Gold Medal award, Aung San Suu Kyi will also receive awards from the Asia Society and the Atlantic Council Global Citizen Award.   During her visit she will give public addresses at the University of Louisville,  Kentucky, as well as visiting Yale and  Harvard universities. She will also be meeting with Burmese communities in the United States.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mohamed Toryoke from: USA
September 18, 2012 4:51 PM
We, Rohingyas, are against her and all Buddhist people in Burma. She is nothing to us and some day we will rule Burma and rewrite the Burmese history.

Mohamed Toryoke


by: Pedro from: New York
September 16, 2012 11:33 AM
She will also receive the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent in San Francisco on Sept 28: http://humanrightsfoundation.org/media/San-Francisco-Freedom-Forum-28-08-2012.php


by: Mac from: Bangkok
September 16, 2012 10:52 AM
"But Sean Turnell, an associate professor at Macquarie University, says the visits will compliment each other."

The word should be complement, not compliment.


by: maung maung from: USA
September 16, 2012 4:00 AM
We can not avoid question about Rohingya. She had already consulted with her advisers about Rohingya related questions.The recipient of this award should not be thinking politically correct all the time especially when we witness Genocide.Su Kyi is being treated as celebrity and she is enjoying it every moment of it while she ignored the biggest massacre and Genocide in Burma history.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid