Suu Kyi dreamed of 'romantic' NZ
Fri, 23 Nov 2012 5:29a.m.
By 3 News online staff / RadioLIVE
Prime Minister John Key has met the celebrated democratic reformer Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader in Burma.
He gave her a case of golden kiwifruit and a triple koru greenstone pendant.
Ms Suu Kyi says she dreamed of coming to New Zealand during her 15 years under house arrest.
"The two countries that I would think about were Canada and New Zealand," she says,"because I thought those places were unpolluted areas and of course I have always thought that New Zealand was rather romantic - the land of the long cloud and so on. Not to mention the kiwifruit."
She also praised our system of government saying it "seems to me that the New Zealanders have a good control over the government, and I think that's a good idea… We hope ties between the two countries will be stronger as we proceed along the route to democracy."
Mr Key has also appeared alongside the country's President Thein Sein. He visited the president in his 100-room presidential palace.
Human rights and economic development dominated talks, and Mr Key says he is impressed with the pace of democratic changes taking place.
"On one level, if you think about what they've achieved in two years, the vast overwhelming bulk of political prisoners have been released, you've got a situation where there's now freedom of the press, and there a lot of other gains that have been made.
"But as we've said here in the past, it's not perfect."
Key's claim of freedom of the press is being questioned by many media observers, and Ms Suu Kyi says Burma is still "certainly not democratic".
"Things are not yet as they should be but everybody is trying to make sure that they go the right way.
"New Zealand should really insist that if Burma is to be a genuine democracy and if the 2015 elections are to be fair, as well as free then these necessary amendments will have to be made."
She also expressed disappointment with the New Zealand Government's decision to call her country Myanmar instead of Burma.
"I have made the point that Myanmar was imposed on this country without so much of a bye or leave to the people. The people were not asked what they thought of it. One day, in the state newspapers it was announced ... I think that it was imposed on this country in a totally undemocratic way.
"I still object to it. So I will always refer to this country as Burma, until the Burmese people decide what they want it to be called."
Mr Sein will visit New Zealand in December, and will tour a Fonterra plant in Wellington.
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23/11/2012 12:46:04 p.m.
China is Burma's biggest supporter, I rather doubt that this is all about so called deocratic reforms. China has invested Billions with the Generals,theres big developments on the coast. This is something to take the heat out of Asia's military upgrades largely supplied from America. Is China now going to look more towrds its other neighbour Afganistan as the U.S. and UN withdrawl troops. No doubt the Generals will be able to retire with their investments safe.
23/11/2012 11:22:00 a.m.
@RUZ 100% agree,key only all about him self in a photo opportunity and has little idea of Aung San Suu Kyi
23/11/2012 11:16:38 a.m.
Watch out Burma key just wants your assets to put on the world market
23/11/2012 9:56:07 a.m.
Typical John Key the buisness man. If thers money to be made, freedom for the people goes out the window. Calling Burma "Myanmar" in front of Aung San Suu Kyi was a suck up to the Military junta Govt. Tsk tsk John Key,how about growing a pair.
23/11/2012 7:58:47 a.m.
The NZ Government has decided to call Burma Myanmar because it wants to sucj up to the military regime in charge for resons of trade. John Key has no interest in human rights, democracy or freedoms all he wants is increased trade. hence his offer of foreighn aid. His meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi is just a photo opportunity - sort of like meeting Nelson Mandella. But it is evident that she can see through Key and has no qualms about telling him what seh thinks even if it made him uncomfortable.
23/11/2012 7:00:36 a.m.
Dr Evil wrote:
So she thinks the West is NOT going to impose itself on her Country, Mur-haha.
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