New Delhi, 13 Nov 2012: Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday on a six-day visit as part of India’s engagement with the multi-party polity in Myanmar.
Suu Kyi, chairperson of the National League of Democracy of Myanmar, flashed a traditional “namaste” as she stepped out of the aircraft that brought her from Yangon.
She will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday, the day when she delivers the Nehru memorial lecture on the occasion of Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary.
Suu Kyi is also scheduled to meet Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
A Nobel prize winner, Suu Kyi spent her formative years in India when her mother was the country’s ambassador to India and Nepal.
Suu Kyi studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary School and graduated from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi.
She will go to her college to meet the faculty and students.
She will visit the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Gurgaon, before flying to Bangalore and Andhra Pradesh.
India awarded Suu Kyi the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1992 while she was under house arrest under the military government in Myanmar.
During the Indian prime minister’s visit to Myanmar in May, Suu Kyi had spoken of the need for greater exchanges between the people of the two countries.
~ Indo-Asian News Service
Aung San Suu Kyi cautions India against Myanmar over-optimism
New Delhi, 13 Nov 2012: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged India not to be over-optimistic about political changes in her homeland, ahead of her first visit on Tuesday to New Delhi in a quarter of a century.
Suu Kyi, who was a student in New Delhi where her mother served as an ambassador, spoke in a newspaper interview of her sadness at the Indian government’s ties with Myanmar’s former junta, which kept her under house arrest for 15 out of 22 years before her release in 2010.
Her invitation to India is an attempt by its government to rebuild the relationship with Suu Kyi. New Delhi was once one of her staunchest supporters, but changed tack and sought engagement with the junta in the mid-1990s.
Suu Kyi said she had been saddened by India’s decision to engage with the junta which was treated as a pariah by the West, although not surprised.
“I think rather than disappointment, sad is the word I would use because I have a personal attachment to India because of the closeness that existed between the countries,” she told The Hindu.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited neighbouring Myanmar in May to try to strengthen trade links and counter the influence of regional rival China.
The two governments signed 12 agreements covering an array of issues including security, development of border areas, trade and transport links.
But Suu Kyi said India should not get carried away by recent developments in Myanmar, which is now run by a quasi-civilian regime and where elections are due in 2015.
“It’s (got) to be able to take a good hard look at what is really happening,” she said.
“Not to be over-optimistic, at the same time to be encouraging of what needs to be encouraged; because I think too much optimism doesn’t help because then you ignore what is going wrong, and if you ignore what is not right, then from not right it becomes wrong.”
Suu Kyi acknowledged that businesses were keen to tap the opportunities across India’s eastern border in competition with Chinese counterparts but added that “investment has to be done in the right way”.
“And also we have to keep in mind that we are just at the beginning of the road to democracy, and as I keep saying, it’s a road we have to build for ourselves. It’s not there ready and waiting,” she said.
Suu Kyi is due to fly in late Tuesday and will on Wednesday meet Mr Singh as well as deliver the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru memorial lecture.
On Friday she will visit the Lady Shri Ram college in New Delhi, from which she graduated with a degree in politics.
Suu Kyi last visited India in 1987 when she travelled to Simla to join her husband Michael Aris, who was pursuing Himalayan studies at an institute in the picturesque hill station.