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

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

UN Warns Air Pollution in Asia Pacific Has Rising Cost

Globally some seven million people a year die prematurely due to indoor and outdoor pollution with about 70 per cent of those deaths in region

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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:

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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs