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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid