11/14/2014, 00.00
MYANMAR - UNITED STATES
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Aung San Suu Kyi relaunches path of reform and democracy in Myanmar

The Nobel Peace Prize winner talks with Obama: "The reforms are going through a bumpy patch but change is not irreversible." The "Lady" warns those who show "excessive optimism" and confirms that many unresolved issues remain. The White House calls for rights Rohingya and "free and inclusive" elections in 2015.

Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The path of reform in Myanmar is "going through a bumpy patch" and more decisive steps are needed to give substance to a full democracy in the country. Unresolved issues include discrimination against minorities and some of the rules contained in the Constitution which leave power in the hands of the military.

This was the focus of  talks between the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and US President Barack Obama, at a joint press held in the private home of the Nobel Laureate yesterday in Yangon. The two leaders also said that the change - after decades of dictatorship of the military leadership - is not irreversible, and it is far from complete.

The US president is in Myanmar, where he attended the East Asia Summit and met with Burmese counterpart Thein Sein yesterday in the capital Naypyidaw; later he travelled to Yangon, where he was received by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) pointed out that the US and Myanmar believe in the same values and the same principles, but "there have different ways to achieve the goals we have set ourselves." The "Lady" warns those who show "excessive optimism" about the changes in the former Burma, because of the risk of slipping into excessive "complacency".

Aung San Suu Kyi calls also use a "fair balance" between "optimism and pessimism"; and said  "the help and understanding of friends all over the world" are need to achieve these goals.

The military's veto and the rule that prevents the Nobel Peace Prize laureate to run for president confirm, once more, that in the Asian country freedom and rights are subject to the control of a leadership that has developed a form of "disciplined democracy".

"Many challenges" and "key issues remain unresolved" such as conflicts - more or less hidden - with ethnic minorities, sectarian violence (such as the issue of the  Rohingyaand the legislative review process that is still incomplete.

In his address, President Obama confirmed that Washington keeps its "sights set" on the reforms, which "are not complete" or "definitive", while calling for "free and inclusive" elections in 2015. He also called for a solution in western state of Rakhine, where tens of thousands of members of the Rohingya Muslim minority have been the target of violence for years. The President also made a strong symbolic gesture, saying the name of the Rohingya people in public, whose existence is still denied by the Burmese government.

 

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