Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Suu Kyi says recent Burma election 'flawed'

Fights to help her party regain legal status
Last Updated: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | 4:45 PM ET
CBC News

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO INTERVIEW by clicking the play button on the photo below, or visit The Current's website to hear the interview.

AUDIO:In her first Canadian interview, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks with The Current after her release in Burma.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi says the recent election in Burma was "greatly flawed" and she will keep pushing for change in her country now that she's been released from house arrest.

Full results have yet to be released for the recent election in Burma — the first elections in 20 years in the country, which is also known as Myanmar.

But initial figures give the main military-backed party a solid majority, a result decried by many observers who say the election was a sham.

Suu Kyi, 65, told Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC's The Current, that it is widely known that the "elections were greatly flawed," despite official claims the elections were a success.

The 1991 Nobel laureate and devout Buddhist has promoted a non-violent movement for democracy in Burma, which has been ruled by the military since 1962.

She was released Saturday, after spending more than seven continuous years under house arrest. After her release, she told the BBC she was hoping for a "non-violent revolution."

"A revolution simply means a great change — that is how I'm defining it. And we do need great changes in Burma, and I would like to bring it about through non-violent means."

Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, centre, is greeted by supporters at her National League for Democracy's party headquarters in Rangoon on Monday. (Reuters)

She said she is eager to hear the views of Burmese people, though she conceded she is still making adjustments after spending 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest.

"I think spending so many hours a day now working with other people is a little strange, because years and years I've been on my own every day," she said.

"If you want democracy, you've got to be prepared to accept the responsibilities of democracy — you can't simply ask for the rights of democracy. And if you're talking about government of the people, for the people, by the people, the people have to be actively involved."

She said she hopes to sit down with generals to talk about possible solutions, and said she's not worried about the possibility that she'll be arrested again.

"I do what I can while I'm free," she said. "If they arrest me again, then I'll do what I can while I'm under arrest."

Meanwhile, Burma's military government warned Tuesday against filing complaints over the Nov. 7 election.

The official Union Election Commission warned that political parties making fraudulent complaints about the polls can face harsh legal punishment.

Suu Kyi had previously said she would work with members of her party, the National League for Democracy, to investigate allegations of election fraud.

She later said that while her party plans to issue a report, it has no plans to protest the results of the elections as it didn't take part.

Since her Saturday release, Suu Kyi has shuttled between her lakeside home and the headquarters of her National League for Democracy party. She filed an affidavit with the court as part of an effort to overturn the party's dissolution.
Suu Kyi a legal offensive Tuesday, filing a document with the country's High Court to have her political party reinstated after the junta disbanded it earlier this year.

"I am challenging the decision of the authorities that they can dissolve our party just like this, because this is against the law," she said.

The party was disbanded for failing to reregister after choosing not to take part in the election, complaining conditions set by the junta were unfair and undemocratic.

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