News / Asia

Aung San Suu Kyi Calls for Reconciliation in Burma

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi: Focus on Reconciliationi
|| 0:00:00
X
Carolyn Presutti
September 23, 2012 1:09 PM
Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi is in the United States on a 17-day visit. She spoke Saturday at a college in New York on the fifth day of her tour. VOA's Carolyn Presutti was there.
Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi is in the United States on a 17-day visit.  She spoke Saturday at a college in New York on the fifth day of her tour.
 
Burmese Americans waited in line for more than six hours to see their heroine - the woman they call Mommy Suu, greeting her with chants of “be healthy.”
 
Aung San Suu Kyi was released two years ago after serving nearly 19 years of her life under house arrest by Burma’s military government. The country is rich with ethnic diversity which has also been a source of violent conflict. But in New York, different ethnic groups handed her gifts. And, she offered advice.
 
“Don't focus on the conflict. Focus on the reconciliation,” she said.
 
It's a different concept in a country where transparency is foreign and compromise is new. Filmmaker Robert Lieberman can attest to that. He spent for years in Burma secretly shooting the documentary “They Call It Myanmar”, for which he also interviewed Aung San Suu Kyi.
 
 “She's probably right now the only person who can hold this country together,” says Lieberman.
At another location, on campus at New York’s Queen College, Aung San Suu Kyi tailored her speech to students. She told them to appreciate their freedoms.
 
"I hope you will all understand what it is like to struggle for human rights and democracy and human rights in Burma. It is just the way you have heard about it. It may seem to you not quite real until you meet it face-to-face. And then you know what it's really like.”

Sapna Chhatpar Considine protested on Burma's behalf for years and was on site to see Aung San Suu Kyi. Considine said she discovered her passion for human rights as a college student.
 
“I think that type of message resonates on campuses all over the world and she knows that. She knows the power of the student groups. She's seen it in Burma. She's seen it throughout the world.”
 
Aung San Suu Kyi, now 67, will not be able to run for president when the next elections are held in Burma in three years because of restrictions in the country’s constitution. She says she wants the youth to direct the future of Burma, saying that they have the freedom to question their lawmakers and to demand change -- something she was punished for time and time again in her country.

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid