Aung San Suu Kyi Calls for “Healthy Skepticism” of Burma’s Reforms

Posted June 1st, 2012 at 1:20 am (UTC-5)
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Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi called on the international investors Friday to exercise “healthy skepticism” as her country implements reforms after half a century of military rule.

In an address to the World Economic Forum in Bangkok, the Nobel peace laureate condemned the lack of change in Burma's corrupt legal system and said she did not want investment to mean further corruption and greater inequality. Instead, she said it was necessary to improve secondary education to defuse what she called the “time bomb” of high unemployment among youth.

The opposition leader participated in a panel discussion on the role of tourism in Southeast Asia when the forum began Thursday in the Thai capital.

Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Thailand on Tuesday. She is making her first trip outside Burma in 24 years, after spending much of the past two decades under house arrest.

On Wednesday, she was greeted by thousands of impoverished Burmese migrant workers who fled to Thailand to escape decades of misrule in their homeland.

She is also expected to meet with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra during her visit.

The newly elected lawmaker's trip is seen as a landmark moment in Burma's political reform process. She had previously been reluctant to leave the country out of fear authorities would not let her return.

Following her Thailand trip, Aung San Suu Kyi will return to Burma briefly before departing on a European tour that will take her to several countries.

She will give a speech to the International Labor Organization conference in Geneva on June 14. She will also visit Norway on June 16 to formally receive the Nobel Peace Prize that she won nearly 21 years ago but was unable to accept in person because of her detention. She later plans to address both houses of parliament in Britain, where she lived for years with her husband, who is now deceased.