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» 06/14/2012
MYANMAR - SWITZERLAND
ILO in Switzerland, Aung San Suu Kyi’s European tour
After 24 years, the Burmese opposition leader returns to Europe, where she will also visit Norway, Ireland, England and France. In Oslo she will finally give the acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize which she won in 1991. For the "Lady" a "memorable" moment which celebrates her leading role in the international political landscape.

Geneva (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In a speech to representatives of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the European tour of Aung San Suu Kyi officially opens today. In the coming days, the Burmese democratic opposition leader will also visit Norway, France, Ireland and England, her adopted homeland, the birthplace of her husband Michael Aris and home of her two sons Alexander and Kim. The "Lady" arrived yesterday afternoon in Switzerland, on the first leg of a journey that, after 24 years, brings her back to Europe where she lived and studied for a long time, before returning to Burma in 1988 to care for her ailing mother. She then spent 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest for her fight for democracy and human rights in Myanmar; finally released in November of 2010,she was appointed a member of Parliament in April 2012 having won a seat in the National League for Democracy (NLD) in the elections.

Aung San Suu Kyi's trip to Europe represents a milestone in the process of change in Burma, ferried by the president Thein Sein - a former army general - from a dictatorship isolated from the rest of the world, to a nation that looks to international markets and represents a "new economic frontier." In Norway, the Democratic leader held a formal acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, won in 1991 in absentia as she was under house arrest in Yangon.

Meanwhile, on the ground in Myanmar tension continues in Rakhine State, scene of sectarian clashes between Burmese Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, a minority often the victim of persecution and abuse. Following the wave of violence that has caused over 20 deaths, the president declared a state of emergency and deployed police officers and the army (see AsiaNews 13/06/As Dhaka turns away a thousand Burmese Rohingya, Sittwe is patrolled by soldiers). The unresolved conflicts with ethnic minorities accounted for the main critical element in the democratization process launched by the new leadership of the country after decades of repression and crackdowns on dissent in the blood.

This morning before the representatives of the ILO, the UN agency that verifies working conditions in various countries, the Nobel Peace Prize will speak of forced labor - that Myanmar has pledged to eliminate by 2015 - and free association. An intervention called "exceptional" by Kari Tapiola, ILO Director-General's Special Adviser.

Last night, on her arrival in Geneva, addressing the press Aung San Suu Kyi did not hide her enthusiasm for the European tour. "It will be a memorable trip for me," said the "Lady", who seems increasingly willing to play a leading role in the political scene within the Myanmar and the international community.


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See also
06/15/2012 MYANMAR - SWITZERLAND
As an apparent calm follows sectarian violence in Sittwe, Aung San Suu Kyi ponders the Rohingya issue
10/21/2013 EUROPEAN UNION - MYANMAR
Aung San Suu Kyi : Change the constitution for free and fair elections
11/07/2011 MYANMAR
Govt overtures to let Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD into political system
03/27/2008 MYANMAR
Underground campaign against junta’s new constitution
08/17/2009 MYANMAR – UNITED STATES
Aung San Suu Kyi “not opposed” to lifting some sanctions

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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