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Suu Kyi Strikes Tough Posture Against Junta

WASHINGTON, Nov 19: Myanmar‘s just-freed pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi says she will not compromise with the junta on her demand for the release of all political prisoners, even as she hopes the resource-rich nation can emulate China’s growth sans human rights violations there.

Suu Kyi, who was released on November 13 after spending 15 of the past 21 years in detention, said she was ready for talks with the junta but except on the issue of political prisoners, whose release is her top priority.

In the give-and-take with the junta, there is one area the 65-year-old leader of the National League for Democracy said she will not compromise ‘” the release of political prisoners.

‘The release of political prisoners certainly,’ she was quoted as saying by CNN.

‘And I don’t think actually if we get to the negotiating table, the military will say we don’t believe in the release of political prisoners. I don’t think it works like that. That’s one of my top priorities.’

Suu Kyi, who studied in Lady Sri Ram College in New Delhi, said she maintained her sanity through meditation during her long spells of imprisonment. Commenting on the November 14 election in Myanmar, which was criticized by the West as being a sham, she said she does not believe the new assembly will be accountable to the people.

‘One of the reasons why we decided not to take part in the elections was precisely because we didn’t believe that there was going to be any major change.’

But the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate is confident that she can still extract reform and change from the junta, especially since many younger people had joined her movement.  She said she envisions a Myanmar where progress goes hand in hand with accountability and where the citizens feel empowered legally and constitutionally to shape the course of its future.

‘I want the people to be more empowered and I want them to feel more empowered,’ Suu Kyi said. ‘I want them to feel that it is they who will decide what the destiny of the country is; that they will have the proper means to shape the destiny of the country.’

(Courtesy: Press Trust of India)

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