YANGON: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, winding up a trip to encourage reforms in Myanmar, praised opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi today for supporting democratisation by making a political compromise.
Ban said after meeting Suu Kyi that he admired her for agreeing to drop a demand that the wording of the oath of office be changed before her party members take their seats in Parliament, which is expected tomorrow.
Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy had sought to have the wording changed to ‘respect’ the constitution from ‘safeguard’ the constitution, but agreed yesterday that it could work on the issue after being sworn in. The party wants to amend elements of the 2008 charter it considers undemocratic. “Politicians sometimes will continue to have differences of opinion, but real leaders demonstrate flexibility for the greater cause of people and for the country,” said Ban.
Ban in a speech to Parliament yesterday urged Western nations to ease sanctions. He also called for a significant increase in development aid. In that speech, believed to have been the first ever by a foreigner before Myanmar’s Parliament, he hailed President Thein Sein and Suu Kyi, saying they had ‘demonstrated the confidence and statesmanship needed to look beyond politics to the longer and larger interests of the nation’.