Suu Kyi seeks deeper ties with Indian parliament

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 14:40 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) Myanmar's opposition leader and pro−democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi Thursday hoped for deepening of exchanges between parliaments of the two countries and underlined that her nation was moving on the path of democracy "in a slow and steady manner".

Suu Kyi, the chairperson of National League for Democracy, on a six−day visit to the country, met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar in parliament for half an hour in the afternoon.

In her interaction, Suu Kyi said that her country was moving on the path of democracy in a slow and steady manner. "Myanmar would require cooperation of its valued neighbours, especially India, in this endeavour," she said.

She hoped that the spirit of democracy and rule of law would be further deepened and the engagement between the two parliaments would take bilateral ties to greater heights.

The charismatic leader, who spent decades under house arrest and is known for her heroic struggle against the all−powerful military junta in Myanmar, underlined that she preferred a turbulent parliament over a quiet one as it showcased the power of the people.

A day after she met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Suu Kyi also called on Vice−President Hamid Ansari and met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

Lauding Suu Kyi's abiding commitment to the people of her country, Meira Kumar assured Suu Kyi that the Indian parliament would continue to share its experience in parliamentary practices and procedures with Myanmar.

The Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training (BPST) of the Lok Sabha Secretariat organised many study trips for MPs and parliamentary officers of Myanmar in the last couple of years. This year, around 30 parliamentarians and 30 officials of Myanmar parliament have benefited from such programmes.

Suu Kyi also inked the visitor's book in parliament. "I feel very good. I feel very much at home here," she told reporters when asked how she felt being back in India after 25 years.

"I would not like to risk that....My Hindi was never the best, you know. So, I think I better be safe than sorry. and stick to English. Unless you want me to speak Burmese, which I shall be quite willing to," she said disarmingly when prodded by the press persons to speak in Hindi.

Suu Kyi also planted a sapling of magnolia in parliament premises and was found pleading with photographers not to stomp on the plant while taking her pictures.

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