Thursday, 14 June 2012

Burma's Leader Aung San Suu Kyi on visit to Europe

Burma's Leader Aung San Suu Kyi has given a speech at the UN in Geneva, which commenced her visit to Europe. She spoke at the UN's International Labour Organisation, which has spearheaded a long-term campaign against child and slave labour in Burma.

This is her first visit to Europe since 1988. Suu Kyi spent much of the past 24 years under house arrest in Burma.

During her speech, Suu Kyi thanked the international community for trying to reach out to her country, which has been long isolated due to its military dictatorship. She said: "The international community is trying very hard to bring my country into it and it's up to our country to respond the right way."

In the course of her two week tour, Suu Kyi will visit the UK, Switzerland, Ireland, France and Norway, where she will accept her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking before the trip in Burma, Suu Kyi said she expected the tour to be a novel experience. She noted: "Each country will be different. I will know how backward [Burma] is when I reach the other countries."

Suu Kyi has spent much of the past two decades under house arrest as a political prisoner. But as part of Burma's recent reform process, she was freed in late 2010 and won a seat in parliament in by-elections in April this year.

The fact that Suu Kyi is travelling shows great promise for change in Burma, spurred by the government of President Thein Sein, who has pursued a course of reform since coming to power last year.

Sources: BBC News, AFP, Reuters

No comments:

Post a Comment