07/09/2012, 00.00
MYANMAR

Aung San Suu Kyi’s first address to parliament, after 25 years fighting for democracy

The Burmese leader promises to do her best for the country. Debut address in aftermath of arrests of dozens of students marking 50th anniversary of the Yangon University massacre. To support Aung San Suu Kyi in parliament 37 members of the National League for Democracy elected in April.

Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In a speech to the nation Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition leader and historic Nobel Peace Laureate, made her debut in parliament after nearly 25 years of struggle to bring democracy to the country.

"I will do my best for my country," said the leader of the National League for Democracy, who postponed her inaugural speech as a parliamentarian for a week to recover from a long tour in Europe, during which she finally collected the Nobel Prize assigned her in 1991.

The debut of Aung San Suu Koy, comes at a time of particular tension for Myanmar that threatens to cast a shadow on the recent opening of the former military junta. On 7 July, police arrested about 20 students to halt a demonstration to mark the 50th anniversary of the massacre of students carried out by Gen. Ne Win. In recent weeks, ethnic-religious clashes between Rakhine (Buddhists) and Rohingya (Muslims) have rekindled the debate on the question of minorities, often at war with the government in Naypyidaw. However, insiders point out that the presence of the parliamentary opposition leader is leading to a slow change in the government and soon many political supporters of the junta could be replaced by reformers.

Aung Sang Suu Kyi will be joined by 37 other members of the NDL, elected last April election to allocate 48 parliamentary seats vacant since 2010. The "lady" will continue cooperating with President Thein Sein, who is trying to ferry the former Burma from a strict military regime to a nation where one can see glimmers of real democracy, although "a lot" remains to be done. To date, parliament is still under the control of the military and their political allies.

 

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