Suu Kyi wants India to do more for democracy

The Myanmar leader said the United Nations can play a more proactive role in her country.

Last Updated: Dec 01, 2011, 10:06 AM IST

Washington: Hours after the US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton landed on a historic trip to Myanmar,
the country`s pro-democratic leader, Aung San Suu Kyi said
that India needs to do more in her country to establish true
democracy.

"I think India, as a democracy... certainly we would like
India to do more to promote democratic values in Myanmar," Suu
Kyi told members of a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a
Washington based think tank, and reporters in a rare live
conversation with Skype.

Responding to questions on China, Suu Kyi said she has
always emphasised the fact that the two countries have always
had good relationship and she would like that to continue.
"We have enjoyed quite a good record of friendship,
friendly relation to China, and I would like to maintain
that," she said.

"I hope that whatever little snags may have arisen along
the road, we will be able to overcome them and be able to
maintain our friendly relations with China. And I do not think
simply because we believe in different systems of government,
we need necessarily be hostile to one another," she said.
The Myanmar leader said the United Nations can play a
more proactive role in her country.

"I have to confess that I think that the UN could play a
more proactive role in Myanmar and in many other parts of the
world. This is not, of course, entirely the fault of the UN
Security Council veto alone, which is enough to stop some
suggested plan from going forward," she said.

"So it is very difficult for the UN to do everything that
they might wish to do, but still, I would very much like the
UN to be more proactive in situations like Myanmar," Suu Kyi
said.

The Noble laurate expressed hope that Clinton has a
meaningful talks with the Myanmar leaders.
"We hope that they are meaningful. I personally trust
President Thein Sein but I cannot say that everybody in the
government feels as he does," she said.

"At the moment what we have to do is to find our way
ahead as best we can. It requires a bit of risk.I think we
have to be prepared to take risks. But nothing is guaranteed.
We can`t ever expect a hundred per cent guarantee in
politics, and certainly we can`t expect that now. But we`ve
got to make the best of the opportunities that have arisen
over the last few months," Suu Kyi noted.

She exuded confidence that the majority of the people of
Myanmar want a peaceful, harmonious transition to democracy.

"That is what we want. That is what we have been working
for a long time. And since now it seems as though we have the
opportunity to achieve our goal, we must do everything we can
to go forward with a certain amount of caution, yes, but also,
we have to be prepared to take risks. I`ve always believed in
cautious optimism," the pro-democratic leader said.

Suu Kyi said that she would be running for by-elections
in the country.

"I hope to run for Parliament. We are waiting to hear
whether our party`s application for registration has (been
accepted) Once that`s accepted; we can start making plans to
contest the by-elections. We`re not sure exactly when those
are going to take place, but we would like to run for the
by-elections," Suu Kyi said.

"We would hope that by having some of us people in
parliament, we will be able to do twice the work that we have
been doing, because we`ll have extra-parliamentary activities
as well... as well as the activities within parliament," she
said.

PTI