Aung San Suu Kyi urges care as world reaches out to Burma
Thursday 14 June 2012
Foreign investment must help — not hurt — Burma's goal of moving toward full democracy, opposition leader Aung
San Suu Kyi said today as she welcomed efforts to reach out to her
country as it emerges from decades of isolation under military rule.
The Nobel peace laureate said the exploitation of Burma's oil and gas riches was a particularly sensitive area and recent deals between the government and China are shrouded in secrecy. Western companies, too, have been eager to invest in the south-east Asian nation as the sanctions it faced under military rule are gradually lifted.
"Any new investment that comes in because of the lifting or suspension of sanctions should add to the democratic process rather than subtract from it," Suu Kyi told reporters in Geneva, a day after landing in the Swiss city on her first visit to Europe in 24 years.
"I would like to see a sound, effective energy policy in Burma and this should be related to the kind of extractive investments that we invite in," she said.
Suu Kyi's two-week visit to Europe began in Geneva with a speech today to the annual meeting of the International Labour Organisation, whose campaign against slavery and child labour in Burma drew constant attention to the junta's exploitation of its people.
The ILO decided yesterday to reward Burma for reforms undertaken so far, lifting restrictions on its participation in the organisation's work that had been in place since 1999.
From Switzerland, Suu Kyi flies to Oslo, where on Saturday she will make a belated acceptance speech and accept the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to her 21 years earlier while she was detained by the military after leading a pro-democracy party to victory in Burma's 1990 election.
Asked by The Associated Press whether she could forgive the junta for ignoring the outcome of those elections and keeping her under house arrest for 15 of the next 22 years, the woman who is seen as an icon of the democracy movement took the high road.
"In some ways I don't think they really did anything to me," she said. "I do not think I have anything to forgive them for."
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Functional ...