herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Suu Kyi holds no grudge against her captors

Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said she holds no grudges against the military regime that kept her under house arrest for 15 years and considers them people to work with toward reform.

Her focus is on practical matters, Ms Suu Kyi said at a news conference, not "abstract ideas of justice".

Ms Suu Kyi met with the press after a meeting with President Francois Hollande on the first day of her four-day visit to France to end a European tour that has taken her to Switzerland, Norway, Ireland and Britain.

She and the French president had dinner last night.



courage

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been a world symbol of courage and hope for facing down Burma's military regime, which ruled for 49 years until last year.

She is now helping the country usher in what many hope is a transition to democracy. And pragmatism seems to be her watchword.

"I certainly do not bear any grudges against the military regime," she said. "I never think of them as those people who placed me under house arrest for so many years. This is not the way we bring about national reconciliation.

"I think of them as people with whom I would like to work in order to bring reform to our country."

France intends to support all those involved in the democratic transition, and "not consider it a tranquil process", so that Burma achieves a "full and complete democracy".

Hollande will keep an eye on financial transactions and industrial projects a more open Burma will likely attract.

Ms Suu Kyi said she wants "democracy-friendly, human rights-friendly" investments that protect the environment of her country.

hnews@herald.ie

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