Tue 28 Dec 2010
Filed under: ASEAN,Regional
The Indonesian government and Burmese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi have pledged to work together to urge Myanmar’s government toward democracy.
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said Thursday the Indonesian government and Suu Kyi were determined to make sure there would be open discussions and reconciliation in an attempt to promote a democratic Myanmar.
“We must ensure that there will be conditions conducive for dialogue between Aung San Suu Kyi and the [Myanmar] government, and between her supporters, the government and the other political parties,” Marty told The Jakarta Post following a phone conversation on Wednesday morning with the pro-democracy icon who was visiting the Indonesian Embassy in Yangon.
Marty said Suu Kyi told him she appreciated the role Indonesia had played over the years in promoting democracy in Myanmar.
He said he told her in response that Indonesia had consistently pushed for her early release over
It was the first communication the Indonesian government has had with Suu Kyi since the latter’s release from house arrest on Nov. 13 — almost a week after Myanmar’s first elections in two decades.
She had been under arrest for 15 of the last 21 years.
The Myanmar elections were won in a landslide by the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which is backed by the ruling military junta.
Top junta members were among those who won seats. They included Prime Minister Thein Sein, who also heads the USDP.
The election results were slammed by the US and its allies but were welcomed by Myanmar’s major ally China and its neighbors in ASEAN, including Indonesia, as a step toward democracy.
“Of course we are aware that the election was not by any means perfect. It wasn’t perfect. But, it was an important development. And the release of Aung San Suu Kyi is an even more important development,” Marty said.
“When I spoke to Aung San Suu Kyi, what struck me most was her very constructive demeanor, her very constructive attitude, and, as a result, [I was] even more convinced that she is truly part of the solution for Myanmar’s progress in the future.”
Marty said Suu Kyi said she was open to suggestions and input from Indonesia on what kind of contribution she could make to promote democracy in Myanmar.