David Cameron to meet Aung San Suu Kyi


April 10, 2012

David Cameron to meet Aung San Suu Kyi

British Prime Minister David Cameron will meet pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar on Friday, the first major Western leader to visit the long-isolated country since a 1962 coup began a half century of military rule.

His visit, confirmed by local sources, comes nearly two weeks after Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won historic April 1 by-elections by a landslide, convincing the United States and European Union to consider relaxing economic sanctions imposed years ago in response to human rights abuses.

Just days after the vote, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the EU may lift some sanctions, but it would carry on pushing for the release of remaining political prisoners.

British firms are among those seeking access to what could be huge opportunities in energy, mining, financial services, telecoms and tourism in Myanmar.

Big businesses across Europe want the EU to lift sanctions in the coming weeks, a move which would allow them into the country ahead of their US rivals. A formal European decision is expected on April 23.

The British government declined to confirm Cameron’s travel plans. Suu Kyi’s party said Cameron will meet the Nobel Peace Prize laureate on Friday at her lakeside villa where she had been kept under house arrest until November 2010, and the two would dine together that evening at the British ambassador’s residence.

Cameron is also visiting Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia, accompanied by a delegation of 35 business representatives from defence, energy, construction and other industries.

He will visit Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, on Wednesday and travel to Malaysia on Thursday, the first official visit to that country by a British leader in nearly 20 years.

His visit to Myanmar would be the first by a British Prime Minister since 1955, seven years after the end of British colonial rule of the former Burma.

He will also be the first major Western leader to step foot in Myanmar since a 1962 coup ushered in 49 year of unbroken military rule that ended last year, when a junta handed power to a quasi-civilian government stacked with former generals.

The government has since freed hundreds of political prisoners, begun peace talks with ethnic rebels, relaxed some media censorship, allowed trade unions, and showed signs of pulling back from the powerful economic and political orbit of its giant neighbour China.

It was rewarded last November when Hillary Clinton made the first visit to the country by a US secretary of state since 1955. — Reuters

11 thoughts on “David Cameron to meet Aung San Suu Kyi

  1. Yes David Cameron… you are welcome to do as much business with Asia as you wish but please do not twist any arms for the purchase of your weapons… like you seem to have just done in Japan.

    Asia needs business not weapons.

  2. Japan is an independent nation. nobody can twist their arm to purchase arms from any particular country. It’s just that after WW II Japan was barred from developing and manufacturing arms and thus have to depend and buy from other arms producing nations.

  3. Make peace, not war. That’s right, Isa. ASEAN must remain of zone of peace and security for business to thrive. But our region is essentially riddled with corruption big time.That is why arms purchase is an opportunity to make hefty commissions for politicians and their proxies.

    Japan faces the threat of North Korean missiles and needs a lot of patriot anti-missile shield and strong blue navy to protect its territorial waters. The presence of the Chinese Navy in the area needs to be constantly monitored. Although known for their humanitarian work around the world, the Japanese defence forces are combat ready to defend their Emperor and the Japanese people.–Din Merican

  4. Pasai apa Mak Cik tak tulis, kan ka Mak Cik Sastrawanis UMNO. Bijak pandai dan penuh dengan slogan slogan satu itu satu ini, tipu sana tipu sini. Bagilah can kat kami baca hasil karangan Satrawanis UMNO,

  5. And yes, Tuan David Cameron… On your visit to Myanmar, if you once mention the word “democracy” it will mean you and your government know nothing about the country and that you are there to further other agendas.

    So no weapons for Asia and leave Myanmar to sort out its own affairs.

    North Korea a threat? They are a threat only if we make them one.

  6. Huh Din,
    Chinese Navy must be constantly monitored? China phobia again! I felt that it should be the other way round. It should be the Japan Navy. Frankly speaking, even though Japan defence budget is miniscule…..Perhaps less than 3% of GDP. You would be surprised Japan peacetime military capability is greater than you think
    USA needs to rethink its policy of engaging China rather than containing China. Better to have a strong China than a strong Japan

    Din,
    I would rather trust PRC than Japan. Even South Korea can testify to this

  7. This thread seems to be revealing in quite a few “tempurung” addicts.

    Firstly, it’s about the PM of UK meeting the Icon of Burma/Myanmar – something our ‘Lembekness’ did not to when he was there, for fear of diplomatic ‘kemaluan’. And probably a sense of embarrassment for persistent degrading and persecuting his chief political opponent with sexual impropriety. The days of his ‘Prostate’ is numbered.

    Secondly, our proverbial tempurung anti-‘democracy’ autocrat is saying that N. Korea is not a threat. Tell that to the S. Koreans, who suffer indignities and provocations by infantile lil emperor-gods on earth. A Hermit with an atomic weapon with the means to deliver it, no matter how inaccurate. It’s a mega cinematic version of handing a shotgun to a mat rempit who hasn’t met his minah for years, and the exhaust pipe on his ‘kapchai’ is getting worse for wear.

    Thirdly, we have a rabid Sino-phile, who’s claim to Religion (i think it’s Christianity), is marred by sycophantic ideation that social liberty and justice can only be found for the masses in mainland China by the seriously corrupt and flawed, yet omnipotent Rote-learning, Legalistic Communist Politburo of PRC. Who threatens no One except distant neighbors over the southern sea – well not militarily yet, but through economic and political bribes – in the pretext of Fraternity. He probably doesn’t understand the Sermon on the Mount.

  8. i hope the PM will advice the BBC to start calling Myanmar instead of Burma and Yangon instead of Rangoon. i just do not know why BBC does not recognise the name changed whereas other major radio/tv stations is calling Burma with their new name. shame on the BBC!!!!!

  9. Both Myanmar and Burma refer to the majority tribe – the Bamar.
    The former is the literary form and many opposition groups and countries who do not recognize the legitimacy of the military junta nor their authority to rename the country in 1989 (after the 8888 incidents).

    Burma, has been used by the British Colonialists and remains more palatable and neutral to other disenfranchised tribes (some 156 ‘others’), who see the descriptive nomen ‘Myanmar’, to be identified too closely with the majority tribe, rather than the nation as a whole – especially since the word Union is used. Myanmarization is akin to many ways the concept of Ketuanan, as it refers to rent-seeking mentality, tribal superiority (couched by inferiority complex), rapine of resources and forced union.
    Comprendo?

  10. Whatever may have transpired during the bad old days of the Cold War, the South Koreans must know by now that North Korea represents no threat to anyone at this stage. Even the much-hyped missile threat has just now been reported to be nothing more sinister than a satellite launch in honour of the Dear Leader. The ball has been in the South’s court for a long time and the way forward is simple if only the South Koreans remove their cold-war lenses… abandon the stick and offer as much carrot to their brothers in the North and keep doing so until necessary.

    They and the world might be surprised at the result. The South can and should embrace the North… the catalyst? keep everyone else out.

    North and South Korea ought to be reunited. If the Germans can do it why not the Koreans?

  11. Isa,
    South Korea would very much in favour of unification. South Korea unlike CLF has sucked enough of Ang Mo aka USA…..ahem ahem…..South Korea just as China including Taiwan very suspicious of Japan….The only problem is money money money
    Instead of containing China just as CLF, the ang mo lover would want us to do……Perhaps, should ask USA should just stay put in the states just like in the 19th century……USA unlike GB in 19th century…..knows nuts about diplomacy
    In short, enough of ang mo ahem ahem…..lets embrace of rise of China instead……Think of Cheng Ho & Ming empire…….they are far more peaceful than the ang mo
    Perhaps, we should remind CLF…..It’s USA who dropped 2 atomic bombs…..Mcarthur wanna use it in China

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