London: As Britain's establishment pulled out all stops to fete Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, she voiced her conciliatory approach towards the military regime saying that "we don't want to be shackled by the past".
Speaking to reporters after meeting Prime Minister David Cameron, Suu Kyi said it was right for the British government to invite the Myanmar president, Thein Sein, who Cameron described as "sincere" in his efforts to continue reform in the trouble-torn country.
In a break from rigid parliamentary tradition, Suu Kyi was extended the rare privilege of addressing both houses of Parliament in the historic Westminster Hall in the Westminster Palace.
The privilege is usually reserved for iconic former or current heads of state.
"We have reached a stage where we face the most difficult challenges, more difficult than those in the past. Now will decide what will happen in 2015 (elections)," Suu Kyi said after meeting Cameron.
"Our need (for international help and support) now is greater than it has ever been," she added.
Cameron recalled his meeting with Thein Sein during his visit to Myanmar in April, and said the British government had thought carefully before that visit, and also before extending an invitation to him to visit the UK.
"We want to achieve democracy; it is important to work with the regime. That is why we worked to suspend sanctions on the country, not lift them, and that is the right approach. Suu Kyi has been inspirational and an example to others in political selflessness," Cameron said.
Earlier, Suu Kyi met Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and Foreign secretary William Hague, who described her as a "symbol of hope" for people striving for democracy.
First Published: Thursday, June 21, 2012, 19:55