News / Asia

Suu Kyi Sees Nothing New Yet in Burmese Leadership

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her son Kim Aris (not pictured) visit the ancient Ananda Pagoda in Bagan, Burma, July 5, 2011.
Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her son Kim Aris (not pictured) visit the ancient Ananda Pagoda in Bagan, Burma, July 5, 2011.

Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi says some people, both at home and abroad, have deceived themselves into thinking a new government has brought change to her country.

The popular political leader made the remark in response to questions after a lecture broadcast Tuesday by the British Broadcasting Corporation. It was the second of two lectures to be secretly recorded in Burma by the British broadcasters and smuggled to London for airing.

Asked by a listener whether some people have been fooled into thinking Burma's new leadership is different from the military junta that ruled for decades, Aung San Suu Kyi said some people are so desperate for change that they see it where it does not exist. She added that there have been "lots of beautiful words," but she has seen no real changes yet.

The broadcast came as Aung San Suu Kyi is visiting with her son Kim Aris in the Burmese pagoda city of Bagan. It is her first trip outside Rangoon since she was freed from house arrest in November.


Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (C) visits the ancient Bagan Pagodas in Bagan, July 5, 2011. (Reuters)

While she is not conducting any political activities in Bagan, the trip is seen as a test of the limits to her freedom ahead of a planned political tour later this month.

In the lecture, Aung San Suu Kyi said she sees the trip not as a campaign trip but as a "contact trip" to enable her to get in touch with the Burmese people and hear what they are thinking.

She talks at length about the unique nature of her National League for Democracy and its struggle to find an appropriate role for itself. The party overwhelmingly won elections in 1990 but was never permitted by the Burmese military to assume power.

In the first lecture aired a week ago, Aung San Suu Kyi compared developments in Burma to the Arab Spring protests in the Middle East.

She called those uprisings an "inspiration" to her people and said the Burmese envy the people of Tunisia and Egypt for their "quick and peaceful" transitions.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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