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A special guest from Yangon

14 November 2012 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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AUNG SAN Suu Kyi is on another high-profile foreign trip. And this time Myanmar’s celebrated opposition leader is visiting India.
Suu Kyi has returned to India, a place where she received her college education, after 40 years. As part of her official trip, she will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, tour the parliament and deliver a public lecture. She will also visit the college in Delhi, which she attended during the 1960s — the time when her mother was an ambassador.

Suu Kyi is sure to receive the heartiest welcome by the government functionaries and public in India. Although India has historically taken a very pragmatic approach in dealing with Myanmar’s military junta, she is still revered in the country for her struggle and personal sacrifices for democracy.



This trip will be particularly important for Suu Kyi, because she will be able to interact with Indian leaders, who have previously only engaged Myanmar’s military junta for strengthening bilateral economic and political ties. By establishing a personal rapport with them, she can present herself and her party as a viable future alternative to the military leadership.

After she became a member of Myanmar’s parliament, Suu Kyi making the right move by connecting with world leaders. Earlier, the leader of the National League for Democracy visited the UK, where she was warmly welcomed and had the honour of addressing both Houses of government.

However, Suu Kyi definitely has had to pay a price for her physical mobility and engagement with the international community. Historically known for her stringent adherence to her ideals and principals, she has been recently forced to accommodate the military junta’s whims. For instance, she has been conspicuously reticent about the Rohingya massacre — a fact that has earned her a great deal of criticism worldwide. But despite the contraints, she can still speed up the pace of democratic reform in her country if she’s politically shrewd. And she should be so—it would be a shame to see the quintessential pro-democracy activist getting co-opted by a cabal of men in khakhis
Khaleej Times
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