Suu Kyi urges U.S. to be careful in Myanmar dialogue

November 20th, 2010 - 12:28 am ICT by BNO News  

RANGOON, MYANMAR (BNO NEWS) — Recently released pro-democracy activist Suu Kyi on Friday welcomed the U.S.-Myanmar dialogue and called for the U.S. to be practical about it.

“There are lot of people who say that now that the U.S. has decided to engage with the military regime, they have turned their back on us. I don’t think like that,” the activist told CNN.

Suu Kyi added that the dialogue is positive step and that the Obama Administration has to analyze carefully which international sanctions could be lifted. She said that her party is studying the impact of such sanctions before openly support them.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said this week that Canada intends to keep sanctions against Myanmar in place. The international community has historically asked Kyi for guidance on the issue.

Last year, the United States engaged in a dialogue with Myanmar’s military regime after concluding that the longstanding sanctions have not provoked the desired effect. Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs, has been leading the dialogue but said in September that the results so far have been disappointing.

Myanmar’s military government freed the activist last Saturday after over seven years of house arrest in Yangon. Suu Kyi, 65, has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years. Analysts believe that the military regime is attempting to gain support from residents with the release of the activist,

Suu Kyi remarked that despite her long imprisonment she will continue with her political activism even if it means that she gets arrested again. She said that instead of worrying about her freedom she is focusing on doing the most she can while free.

“I’ll do as much as I can while I am free. With any luck I’ll continue to be free to do much, much more. And if they put me back in again, I’ll try to do as much as I can from under house arrest,” said Suu Kyi.

In regards to the current situation in Myanmar, Suu Kyi said that she has not seen any real progress in the Asian country. She highlighted that the economic and political climate is very similar to the one in 2003, the last time she was free.

However, the pro-democracy advocate said she was impressed with the increase in the number of young people, including teenagers, that are now supporting a change in the country. Suu Kyi was also impressed by the fact that much more people are using mobile phones in Myanmar, which communicates them with the outer world and expand their knowledge and views.

The activist also expressed her willingness to engage in dialogue with the military leaders of the country’s regime. She warned that she will not compromise on one issue, the release of political prisoners.

Suu Kyi and her party boycotted the November 7 elections and claimed that the process was marred with fraud. Her party, the National League for Democracy, said that as a result a party backed by the military regime won 80 percent of the available parliament seats.

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