Suu Kyi: Myanmar breakthrough possible
12 January 2012, 10:51
New York - Myanmar's opposition icon Aung San Suu
Kyi said that her country was "on the verge of a breakthrough to
democracy" as she prepares to seek a seat in parliament following
The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who spent most of the past
two decades under house arrest before being freed in 2010, voiced
appreciation for overseas support as she accepted an award presented by
the New York-based Asia Society.
"Burma is on the verge of a
breakthrough to democracy - we have not yet made the breakthrough; we
are on the verge of making such a breakthrough," Suu Kyi said in a taped
message to an awards dinner, using Myanmar's former name.
look to friends like you to help us along this difficult path, which
might be full of difficulties, but which we shall be able to negotiate
with your help, and the help of other friends like you," she said.
look forward to a time when Burma will expand the borders of its
democratisation, and when we will be able to have frequent and
meaningful exchanges with friends in other parts of the world," she
Suu Kyi plans to contest
by-elections on April 1 in a constituency near Yangon, a major step that
could see the long-detained leader participating as a lawmaker in
Myanmar's long-ruling generals ceded power in 2011 to
a nominally civilian government, in a move that was initially met with
wide cynicism from Suu Kyi's supporters and the US, where she is widely
But new President Thein Sein, a former general, has
surprised observers by launching talks with Suu Kyi and ethnic minority
leaders as well as freezing work on an unpopular dam supported by
powerful neighbour China.
The opposition and the US have sought further reforms, including the release of political prisoners.
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