2012 April 11, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi by the Burmese president received

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

Now MP, the Nobel Peace Prize has met the head of state Thein Sein, a sign of the growing role it plays 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 central place that the opposition leader now occupies in the political spectrum.

The opponent, who had arrived earlier in the day in the capital by air, penetrated by car to the residence of the head of state.

The meeting began just after 11 am local time (6:30 French time), according to Khun Tha Myint, head of security within his party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).

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

The "Lady" has become a key interlocutor of political life, alongside a diet that needs it to justify its reforms at a time when openly discuss the issue of the lifting of Western sanctions.

A role in 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 it resigns from parliament.

But some observers lend the President intends to appoint a councilor, perhaps in charge of reconciliation with the rebellions 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 controlled transition by the military, had been invited to Naypyidaw in August.

The meeting, covered by state media, still today considered by analysts as enabling 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 launched by the regime, that even the most optimistic observers in the West hoped not so radical.

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

Reopening the world

Sign of the interest of Western governments, British Prime Minister David Cameron has to spend the day in Burma Friday, 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 April 23 in Luxembourg.

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

In a Wednesday published report, the think tank based in Brussels 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, "she added.

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