Burma State Media Offer Rare Praise of Aung San Suu Kyi

Posted June 5th, 2012 at 6:10 am (UTC-5)
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Burmese state media have offered rare praise of longtime democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, in an editorial that would have been unthinkable just months ago under the reforming country's strict censorship laws.

In an article entitled, “To the leaders who are the hope of Myanmar,” the New Light of Myanmar said Tuesday that the future of the country “depends completely” on the cooperation of Aung San Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein.

The paper, owned by the government and published by the ministry of information, has given little coverage to the newly elected opposition lawmaker since she was released from house arrest in 2010.

The Nobel laureate returned home Sunday after visiting Thailand in what was her first foreign trip in 24 years. The trip was seen as a sign of her confidence in Burma's recent political reforms, since she previously refused to leave out of fear authorities would not let her return.

But the paper criticized Aung San Suu Kyi for telling delegates an economic forum in Bangkok that they should not be overly optimistic about the country's political and economic progress under its new nominally civilian government.

The author said that “nobody should raise doubts and uncertainties” about Burma that could affect the confidence of foreign investors, who are seen as a key part of the country's reformation as it opens up to the outside world.

There were some concerns over a possible rift between President Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi after the president's unexplained last-minute cancellation of an official visit to Thailand last week.

The editorial said that mutual trust between the two leaders was key to Burma's future and that it hopes they can work together on the basis of mutual trust and understanding.