Suu Kyi gets green light for cabinet post
Burma's President Thein Sein has said that recent reforms in the country are irreversible, and even hinted that Aung San Suu Kyi – once one of the world's most celebrated political prisoners – could be given a cabinet post.
In his first interview with Western media, Thein Sein told the Washington Post that Burma was "on the right track to democracy". The president, who has headed a nominally civilian government for the past nine months, said it was conceivable that the Ms Suu Kyi could be given a position following by-elections this spring.
"If the people vote for her, she will be elected and become a Member of Parliament. I am sure that the Parliament will warmly welcome her. This is our plan," he said. Asked if he would like to see Ms Suu Kyi in his government, he replied: "If one has been appointed or agreed on by the Parliament, we will have to accept that she becomes a Cabinet minister."
Thein Sein has surprised most observers with the pace of reforms he has introduced – easing restrictions on the media, legalising unions and protests and releasing the most high-profile political prisoners from jail. For this he has been rewarded with a flurry of senior diplomatic visitors including the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, and the British foreign secretary, William Hague.
Thein Sein suggested to the Washington Post that the US and EU should drop sanctions against Burma, saying: "What is needed from the Western countries is for them to do their part."
Ms Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, welcomed the prospect of a cabinet post for its leader, who was freed from a long spell of house arrest in 2010, but said it was too early to tell if the reforms of recent weeks warranted the removal of Western sanctions.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains
Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Science Teacher - Maternit...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Leicester: We are recruiting for a Systems and ...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Group: English as an Additional Langua...
£10000 - £15000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Nursery assistants re...