Paris: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said that she holds no grudges against the military regime that kept her under house arrest for some 15 years and, instead, views it as a group she can work with as the country moves toward democracy.
Her focus is on practical matters, Suu Kyi said on a Tuesday at a news conference, not "abstract ideas of justice."
Suu Kyi talked to the press after a meeting with President Francois Hollande on the first day of a four-day visit to France that closes out a European tour that has taken her to Switzerland, Norway, Ireland and Britain. She and the French president were having dinner Tuesday night.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been a world symbol of courage and hope for facing down Myanmar'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."
Hollande, at her side, said France intends to support all those involved in the democratic transition so that Myanmar achieves a "full and complete democracy." He cautioned that France will keep a vigilant eye on financial transactions and industrial projects that a more open Myanmar will likely attract.
It was unclear whether he was making reference to the French oil giant Total, which has been present in Myanmar for decades under military rule there, and became the object of criticism.
First Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 09:46