2012 April 11, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi received by the Burmese president

The leader of the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, met Wednesday morning President Thein Sein in Naypyidaw, for the first time since his recent election as an MP.

The leader of the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, met Wednesday morning President Thein Sein in Naypyidaw, for the first time since his recent election as an MP. (Reuters)

MP now, the winner of Nobel Peace met with the head of the State Thein Sein, a sign of more significant role on the Burmese political scene.

Aung San Suu Kyi met Wednesday, Burmese President Thein Sein in Naypyidaw, second interview in eight months between the two leaders, which confirms the centrality of the leader of the opposition now occupies in the political spectrum.

The opponent, who had arrived earlier in the day in the capital by plane, by car entered the residence of the head of state.

The meeting began just after 11 am local time (06:30 French time), according to Khun Tha Myint, chief of security within his party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).

This interview surprise had been announced late Tuesday night and was described as "private" by a government official. Suu Kyi "lunch with the president's family after their meeting," said his side Khun Tha Myint.

The "Lady" has become a key political interlocutor, alongside a system that needs to legitimize his reforms at a time when openly discussing the issue of the lifting of Western sanctions.

A role for government?

Recent rumors had reported the possible entry of the opponent to the government if elected MP. She had, however, rejected the hypothesis, which implies that resigned from parliament.

But some observers lend the President intends to appoint an advisory position, perhaps in charge of reconciliation with the rebellion of ethnic minorities, with which the government is trying to negotiate lasting peace agreements.

Thein Sein, in power for self-dissolution of the junta in March 2011 as part of a transition controlled by the military, had been invited to Naypyidaw in August.

This meeting covered by the government media remains now seen by analysts as allowing the return of the opponent in the legal political game, after fifteen years of house arrest.

Since then, the Burmese political context has changed dramatically, the pace of reforms initiated by the regime, even the most optimistic observers in the West did not expect such drastic.

The NLD, after being officially dissolved, has indeed found its legal status and won 43 seats out of 44 it was seeking partial, becoming the first opposition force in the country. Suu Kyi, 66, will meet for the first time in his life in parliament on April 23.

Reopening the world

Reflecting the interests of Western governments, British Prime Minister David Cameron should spend the day Friday in Burma, becoming the first Western head of government to visit the country for years. He will meet with Thein Sein, then with the opponent.

His trip will likely be decisive when the European Union is preparing to ease in a "substantial" sanctions, in the words of a senior diplomat. A decision will be taken on the matter at a ministerial meeting on 23 April in Luxembourg.

The United States pledged in turn to "ease" restrictions on investment and appoint an ambassador very quickly.

In a report released Wednesday, the group of Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) urged the West to lift sanctions immediately.

"Burma has turned its back on five decades of authoritarianism", welcomed the ICG.

"Those in the West who have long called for such changes must now do everything possible to support them. The most important is to lift sanctions without further delay, "said she said.

"Giving up would only strengthen the conservative elements and weaken those leading the process of transformation."