Aung San Suu Kyi calls for united EU stance on Myanmar

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

BANGKOK - Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi Wednesday called for a coordinated approach within the European Union in its policy towards Myanmar, warning it would be a “disgrace” if the group fell victim to the junta’s divide and rule tactics.

“In terms of the EU, and other allies of ours, I think we would like to see a more coordinated approach,” Suu Kyi told DPA in a telephone interview.

Suu Kyi, 65, was released from seven years of house detention Nov 13, a week after Myanmar’s junta staged the first general election in two decades.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party boycotted the polls in protest against election regulations that would have forced it to drop the Nobel laureate as a party member in order to run.

Other regulations prohibited registered parties from including people currently serving prison terms. Suu Kyi had been under house detention since May 2003.

Suu Kyi was unimpressed by an EU statement on the election outcome which she described as weak.

“Unless theirs is a coordinated approach, I think their statements cannot be as strong as we would like them to be,” Suu Kyi said.

Members of the EU are known to be split over questions such as sanctions imposed on Myanmar, also called Burma, and the revival of development aid to the country, one of the world’s poorest.

Suu Kyi expressed concerns over Myanmar’s approach to the EU.

“If they are going to let the regime divide and rule them, I think that would be a disgrace for the EU,” she said.

The NLD formerly supported economic sanctions against Myanmar, although it has promised to look at the question.

“We will review the matter on sanctions and only on the grounds of whether or not the sanctions are hurting the people, and whether the people have sound reasons to think they have been hurt by the sanctions,” Suu Kyi said.

The NLD won the 1990 general election by a landslide, but the party was blocked from assuming power for the past 20 years, and many of its members were jailed.

Suu Kyi, the daughter of Myanmar independence hero Aung San, has spent 16 of the past 21 years under house arrest.

Filed under: Politics

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