Yangon: After decades of military rule,
democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi says there are finally
signs of political change in Myanmar, but its long-suffering
people are still far from real freedom.
In an exclusive interview, the Nobel Peace Prize winner
told a news agency that the new government appears genuine in its desire
for democratic reform, and said an Arab-style uprising is not
the answer to the country`s problems.
"There have been changes, but I don`t think we`re all free
or completely free yet. There`s still quite a way to go, but I
think there have been positive developments," the opposition
leader said at her party offices in Yangon.
"I`ve always said I`m a cautious optimist and I remain a
cautious optimist. I do believe that the president would like
to bring about positive changes but how far he`ll be able to
achieve what he wants to achieve is a question that we still
need to examine."
Myanmar`s junta held elections last year that were marred
by widespread complaints of cheating, and in March announced
it was handing power to a civilian government dominated by
former military officers.
In recent weeks, the new administration has shown signs of
reaching out to critics including Suu Kyi, who met President
Thein Sein last month in the highest level dialogue since her
release in November from house arrest.
The dissident -- who has won international acclaim for her
peaceful resistance in the face of oppression, and has been
compared to India`s independence hero Mahatma Gandhi for her
adherence to non-violence -- said she did not want a popular
revolt in Myanmar of the kind seen in Libya.
"What has to be done is a revolution of the spirit. Until
attitudes change, until their (the authorities`) perceptions
of the problems which they have to handle change, there will
not be real change," she said.
"Everybody knows that Libya`s troubles are going to drag
on for a long time. Even if they manage to clear out everybody
from the old regime and establish a new government there are
going to be so many problems -- the bitterness that will
remain, the wounds that will remain unhealed for so long," she