Aung San Suu Kyi urges care as world reaches out to Burma
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."
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Emergency landing at Heathrow sparks further controversy over London airport capacity
Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
Men arrested after RAF jet is scrambled to escort Pakistan Airlines passenger plane to London Stansted Airport
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 3 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.