News / Asia

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi Asks for US Support for Rights Inquiry

Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to journalists after meeting with European Union special envoy to Myanmar Piero Fassino and European Union diplomatic official Robert Cooper at her home in Rangoon (file photo)
Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to journalists after meeting with European Union special envoy to Myanmar Piero Fassino and European Union diplomatic official Robert Cooper at her home in Rangoon (file photo)

The leader of Burma’s opposition movement has urged the U.S. Congress to do what it can to make sure that her government adheres to a United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi told members of Congress a resolution that the U.N. Human Rights Council passed in March is a clear guide for what needs to be done to bring democracy to Burma.

Among other things, the resolution calls on Burma’s government to free political prisoners, grant civil liberties such as the freedom of expression, and allow regular visits by the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Burma.

VOA's Ira Mellman interviews Representative Manzullo, Chairman of the subcommittee on Asian and Pacific affairs.

“This resolution covers all the needs of Burma today, all the political needs, let me say, of Burma today. The requests, the urgings, the demands of this resolution are very much in line with what we in Burma think is needed to start Burma along a genuine process of democratization," she said.

Her videotaped comments were played Wednesday to members of the U.S. House subcommittee on Asian and Pacific affairs. They held a hearing on last November’s elections, the first in Burma in 20 years.

The leader of the National League for Democracy was cautious in her criticism of Burma’s new government. But she called for an independent judiciary to ensure the rule of law, and she said that if the government is sincere in wanting to bring democracy to the country, it should free political prisoners.

She closed her message by thanking Congress for its support for democratic reform in Burma. "With the help and support of true friends, I'm sure we will be able to tread the path of democracy, not easily and perhaps not as quickly as we would like, but surely and steadily," she said.

Watch the Nobel Laureate's videotaped remarks to the U.S. Congressional hearing:

Burma’s opposition, human rights activists and many governments, such as the United States, say the elections merely solidified military rule, because military members and a party backed by the military dominate the parliament.

The Burmese government is considered one of the most repressive in the world. Human rights activists and opposition members say Burma holds more than 2,000 political prisoners, and uses forced labor, long prison sentences and military attacks against minority groups to suppress opposition.

The National League for Democracy won the last free elections held in 1990, but the military never let the party take power.

The NLD did not participate in last year’s election because it refused to purge Aung San Suu Kyi and other imprisoned members from its rolls, which was required under new election laws.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent most of the past 20 years under some form of detention, was released shortly after the November elections.

You May Like

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs