Suu Kyi urges end to US sanctions against Myanmar



Fort Wayne (US): Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi repeated her call on Tuesday for the lifting of sanctions against her impoverished country and vowed to use her new parliamentary role to push along reforms.

Thousands of supporters greeted Suu Kyi with cheers, tears and a standing ovation in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the fourth stop on her 17-day US tour and one of the largest Burmese communities in the country.

The 67-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, who spent 15 years under house arrest for opposing Myanmar's military rulers, voiced optimism for democracy in her Southeast Asian home.

"The important thing is to learn how to resolve problems. How to face them and how to find the right answers through discussion and debate," she told the more than 5,000 people who gathered to hear her speak.

Myanmar's half century of military rule invited crippling international sanctions. But President Thein Sein has introduced political and economic reforms in recent years, and the US administration is considering easing the main plank of its remaining sanctions, a ban on imports.

Suu Kyi said the sanctions were effective in pushing the junta to reform but that "they should now be lifted" so that Myanmar can rebuild its economy.

"We cannot only depend on external support and support of our friends from other nations. We should also depend on ourselves to reach this goal," she said.

Suu Kyi has already met with President Barack Obama and received Congress' highest honour.

Thein Sein separately is visiting New York this week to attend the annual gathering of world leaders at the UN General Assembly, making him the first Myanmar leader to visit the US in more than 40 years.

PTI