Tue 22 Dec 2009
Filed under: Editorial,Opinion,Other
Detained Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi for the first time in nearly a year was allowed to meet with elder members of her opposition political party, the National League of Democracy. The Nobel Peace laureate was taken from her home in Rangoon where she is under house arrest to a state guest house for a brief opportunity to pay her respects to the party’s chairman, secretary and a member of the central committee. During the meeting, Aung San Suu Kyi reportedly asked their permission to reorganize the party.The meeting was the latest development in a series of meetings the government has allowed Aung San Suu Kyi since she wrote Burma’s top military ruler in September offering to cooperate to lift sanctions on the country, which has been ruled with the military’s iron hand since 1962.
The United States, which has long urged engagement among opposition parties, ethnic minorities and Burma’s military rulers, has welcomed this development. The U.S. continues to encourage the government to engage Aung San Suu Kyi and the democratic opposition, Burma’s ethnic leaders and other stakeholders in a genuine dialogue to find a positive way forward for the country.
The U.S. is also seeking engagement with Burmese authorities to promote a better way of life for the Burmese people. However, until the government makes real progress on core concerns, including credible political reform, the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all other prisoners of conscience, and a serious dialogue with the democratic opposition and ethnic nationalities, sanctions now in place against the regime will remain in place.