Suu Kyi 'ready to lead' Myanmar

2012-06-20 12:17
AP

AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Perfect Hostage
    The most thorough biography of Suu Kyi to date, Justin Wintle tells both the story of the Burmese... Now R321.00
    buy now
London/ Oxford - Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi announced in Britain on Tuesday that she was prepared to take the helm as the leader of her people, the strongest signal yet she saw herself as someone who could lead her country to democracy one day.

Myanmar's military rulers have freed the Oxford-educated daughter of Myanmar's assassinated independence hero from house arrest, ushering in an era of hope for change and allowing her to travel abroad for the first time in decades.

Asked by the BBC if she was prepared to lead her people, given the prospect of national elections in 2015, she replied: "If I can lead them in the right way, yes."

Now a Nobel peace laureate and an icon of non-violent political resistance, Suu Kyi, aged 67, left her two sons and husband in Britain in 1988 to take up the fight for democracy in Myanmar as the military crushed pro-democracy protests and seized power.

She languished under house arrest for much of the next two decades, unable to spend time with her sons or be with her husband before he died of cancer in 1999.

Suu Kyi has been greeted as a hero on her visit in Britain as part of a broader European tour.

Hearty welcome

Given star treatment on her 67th birthday on Tuesday, she received a standing ovation when she addressed a packed auditorium at the London School of Economics at the start of her emotional comeback to Britain.

"It's all of you and people like you that have given me the strength to continue," she said, to whoops and cheers from the audience. "And I suppose I do have a stubborn streak in me."

She then travelled to the city of Oxford, where she read politics, philosophy and economics in the 1960s and lived for many years with her late husband, academic Michael Aris, and her two sons: Kim, now 35-years-old, and Alexander, now 39-years-old.

"Welcome back! Welcome back!" chanted a crowd of about 200 activists and local residents who gathered in central Oxford for a glimpse of Suu Kyi as her motorcade glided through the medieval alleys of Britain's oldest university town.

Peter Khin Tun, aged 54, a doctor who fled Myanmar 18 years ago, said: "We are very proud of her. I feel very close to her. That's why I came here. She is true to herself. Nowadays it's very rare to see someone with a sincere heart."

While in Oxford, Suu Kyi was expected to meet her sons and other family members, some of whom she had never met, in a private reunion - a moment certain to be both joyful and painful for a woman who refused to leave Myanmar for decades for fear that its military leaders would not let her back in.

Accepting responsibility

"I missed them [her sons], and they missed me, but as I said, when I looked at the lives of my colleagues it was much worse," she told Britain's Sky News.

"I don't justify it, I think that everybody must accept responsibility for what they do. I accept responsibility for what I did and what I am, and so must my sons."

On Wednesday, she was due to be presented with an honorary degree by Oxford University and to address the Oxford Union debating society. On Thursday she is due back in London to address both houses of Britain's parliament, a rare honour.

She bowed gracefully as activists shouted "Happy Birthday" and unfurled banners saying "Free all political prisoners".

"You are our leader! You will restore democracy!" shouted one activist, Htein Lin, his T-shirt bearing a photo of Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi is the daughter of Aung San, the assassinated hero of Myanmar's struggle for independence from British rule.

Working with the military


In London, Suu Kyi spoke about the importance of the rule of law in Myanmar, which was under military control for 49 years but in recent months has surprised the world with a series of democratic reforms including parliamentary polls.

"The reason why I've emphasised the rule of law so much in my political work is because this is what we all need if we are to really proceed towards democracy," said Suu Kyi, who was sworn into Myanmar's parliament last month.

"Unless people see that justice is done and seen to be done, we cannot believe in genuine reform.

The military seized power in 1988 as troops crushed pro-democracy protests. Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won a 1990 general election, but the generals refused to step down.

She said in her London speech that she was confident she could work with the military rulers to amend the constitution.

"Do we think it can be amended? Yes, we think so, because we think that it's possible to work together with the military to make them understand why we think that this constitution will not move us [the country] in a positive direction," she said.

Read more on:    aung san suu kyi  |  myanmar  |  uk
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.