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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid