In­dia of­fers Myan­mar’s Suu Kyi help in energy and agri­cul­ture

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

NEW DELHI: Myan­mar is strug­gling to es­tab­lish full democ­racy af­ter 50 years of mil­i­tary rule, de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi said yes­ter­day fol­low­ing a deadly mil­i­tary lock­down in restive Rakhine state. State me­dia say se­cu­rity forces have killed at least 29 peo­ple in a mil­i­tary crack­down af­ter raids on guard posts along the Bangladesh border which the govern­ment blamed on Is­lamist in­sur­gents. The area is home to many Ro­hingya, a per­se­cuted Mus­lim mi­nor­ity in the over­whelm­ingly Bud­dhist coun­try.

“We as a na­tion are strug­gling to make the demo­cratic cul­ture take root,” Suu Kyi told re­porters af­ter meet­ing In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on her first of­fi­cial visit to New Delhi. “We too have many chal­lenges to face, but we are con­fi­dent that these chal­lenges can be over­come be­cause our peo­ple are de­ter­mined to over­come them.” Suu Kyi won a his­toric elec­tion vic­tory last year and her ad­min­is­tra­tion is man­ag­ing a dif­fi­cult tran­si­tion from a mil­i­tary-run pariah na­tion to full-fledged democ­racy.

Af­ter spend­ing much of the last few decades un­der ar­rest, she is now of­fi­cially for­eign min­is­ter and self-ap­pointed state coun­sel­lor-a role akin to prime min­is­ter. But her coun­try re­mains riven with eth­nic and re­li­gious vi­o­lence and she has dis­ap­pointed some of her sup­port­ers by re­fus­ing pub­licly to rec­og­nize the Ro­hingya as le­gal cit­i­zens. Tens of thou­sands of state­less Ro­hingya have spent the past four years trapped in bleak dis­place­ment camps with lim­ited ac­cess to health care and other ba­sic ser­vices. Suu Kyi said her coun­try had suf­fered from a lack of peace and sta­bil­ity for many decades and looked to neigh­bor­ing In­dia for help in de­vel­op­ing as a democ­racy. Modi said In­dia, which strongly sup­ported Suu Kyi dur­ing her time in op­po­si­tion, stood “shoul­der to shoul­der” with Myan­mar. — AFP

NEW DELHI: In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi (R) shakes hand with Myan­mar State Coun­sel­lor Aung San Suu Kyi be­fore a meet­ing. — AFP

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