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Published on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 15:12
The best hope for Myanmar’s nascent reform process is a negotiated compromise with the government, according to opposition leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
She made the comment at the East-West Centre in the US state of Hawaii, where she began her first overseas trip late last week.
The National League for Democracy chairperson also expressed confidence that the parliament would approve amendments to the Constitution despite the fact that the military controls 25 percent of its seats.
“I am not deeply concerned about the 25 percent of seats the defence services personnel [hold] in the parliament. The military members are like the [rest of the] people of our nation, they would like to see Myanmar a happier, stronger, more harmonious country,” Suu Kyi said.
She said she wanted to amend some clauses of the 2008 Constitution because they conflicted with democratic values.
The charter bars anyone whose spouse or children are foreign nationals from becoming president. Suu Kyi was married to the late British academic Michael Aris, with whom she had two children.
She said that any constitution written to prevent one person from becoming president was not democratic.
Some clauses in the constitution hinder the attempt to form a genuine union and they also raise concerns about ending the fighting in the northern part of the country, Suu Kyi said. The constitution falls short of “the aspirations” of all of Myanmar’s ethnic groups, she said.
Until these aspirations are fulfilled Myanmar will be unable to “form a true and long-lasting union based on peace and harmony”, she said.
After Hawaii, Suu Kyi travelled to South Korea where she met outgoing President Lee Myung Bak and newly-elected President Park Geun-Hye in Seoul today. A spokeswoman for Lee said the two discussed education and economic ties between the two countries.
Details about Suu Kyi’s meeting with president-elect Park Geun-hye have yet to be released.
Suu Kyi is scheduled to attend the opening of the Special Olympics tomorrow and later this week receive a human rights award in the city of Gwangju, where a 1980 uprising was crushed with deadly force by the then-military government. She will also address students at Seoul National University and meet Myanmar nationals living in South Korea. She will return to Myanmar on February 1.