Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said she is ready for talks to achieve national reconciliation
Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said she would seek dialogue with the military leaders who imprisoned her for 15 of the past 21 years.
In the days after her release, Suu Kyi told the Washington Post that her strategy for bringing change to Burma will be one of compromise.
‘We have got to talk to each other,’ she said. ‘We have to start talking affably – real genuine talks.’
The release of the Nobel Peace Prize winner was described as long over due by the US President Barack Obama, and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon referred to Ms Suu Kyi as an inspiration.
During her first interview following her release, Suu Kyi told the BBC’s Alistair Leithead that one of the first things she intends to do is listen to what the people have to say as she planned her next steps.
‘I want to listen to what the people want,’ she said. ‘I want to listen to what the other countries want, what they think they can do for us, and to work out something that is acceptable to as many people as possible.’
When asked about whether she feared re-arrest, she explained: ‘I know that there is always the possibility that I might be re-arrested. It’s not something that I particularly wish for, because if you’re placed under arrest you can’t work as much as you can when you’re not under arrest.’
The 65 year-old said freedom of speech was the basis of democracy, but warned 4,000 people in Rangoon that if they wanted change they would have to go about getting it in the right way.
‘I don’t want to see the military falling,’ she said, ‘I want to see the military rising to dignified heights of professionalism and true patriotism.’
The Washington Post reported this morning that Suu Kyi has called for talks with all parties and groups within Burma’s political landscape, which has been badly fractured by decades of civil war and an almost complete lack of discussion between her party and the junta.