News

    UN Chief Praises Burma's Suu Kyi for Ending Boycott of Parliament

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, talks to reporters during a press conference following his meeting with Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, right, at her lakeside residence in Yangon, Myanmar, May.1, 2012.
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, talks to reporters during a press conference following his meeting with Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, right, at her lakeside residence in Yangon, Myanmar, May.1, 2012.
    Daniel Schearf

    United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon met with Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi for the first time in Rangoon Tuesday. Their talks came after members of Burma’s opposition decided to make a key political compromise and join the government.

    The meeting came at the end of Ban Ki-moon's three day trip to Burma.

    When he last visited Burma in 2009, the country’s military government refused to allow Ban to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, who at the time was nearing 15 years under house arrest.

    "It's a great honor for me to finally have face-to-face meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi," he said. "It is not the lack of my trying, but simply that it didn't happen and they didn't allow."

    His visit to Burma this week coincided with a key political decision for the country’s newly elected opposition members, including Aung San Suu Kyi.

    Her National League for Democracy party wants to amend the constitution and had initially refused to take an oath to safeguard the military-drafted constitution.  

    Ban praised Aung San Suu Kyi for compromising.

    "Politicians will sometimes continue to have differences of opinion on some issues, but a real leader demonstrates flexibility for the greater cause of the people of a country," he said. "And this is what she has done."

    The stand-off had threatened to prevent the NLD members elected in April from joining parliament.

    Aung San Suu Kyi told reporters the decision to take the oath did not indicate any new change of tactic.

    "We have always believed in being flexible throughout the years of our struggle, because that is the only way we can achieve our goal without violence," she said. "So I do not think flexibility is going to be a new concept for us, newly acquired because we're going into the National Assembly. It has been part of the political equipment with which we have been working for the last 23-odd years."

    Ban said he invited Aung San Suu Kyi to visit U.N. headquarters in New York City at a convenient time and that she reacted very positively.

    The U.N. chief met Monday with President Thein Sein and was the first foreign leader to address the new parliament.

    Ban praised the reform-minded president and urged a further roll back of western sanctions to support reform efforts.

    He said Tuesday, despite challenges, there was no turning back on Burma’s reform process.

    The European Union last week suspended all trade sanctions, except weapons exports, for a year after similar moves by Australia and Canada.

    The United States has been more cautious, removing only some limits on financial services and humanitarian aid while maintaining sanctions on trade.

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora