Suu Kyi says no to a quiet life
Opposition leader prefers "a turbulent parliament"
- Swati Deb, New Delhi
- November 16, 2012
Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said she would prefer a “turbulent parliament” over a quiet one. Seven months into the start of her career as a member of Myanmar’s new parliament, she was speaking during her week-long visit to India, her former home. The Nobel laureate told a crowd of jostling reporters at the Indian parliament in New Delhi yesterday that her country was taking a considered path to democracy. "Myanmar will require the cooperation of its valued neighbors, especially India, in this endeavor," she said. While India, and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi in particular, are considered a strong influence on Suu Kyi’s political development, its government moved closer to Myanmar in the 1990s when she was mostly under house arrest. At that time, New Delhi cooperated with the former junta to quell insurgents on their shared border. Her words on "a turbulent parliament" were in reference to the level of debate in Myanmar’s ruling house. While it has been more vibrant than many had feared, it remains dominated by current and former army officers, including a serving contingent which occupies 25 percent of seats and typically votes as a collective. As a result, debate is often sterile compared to other parliaments in the region. Saying she felt at home in India, Suu Kyi declined to test out her Hindi as she planted a sapling in the parliament grounds, surrounded by frenzied media attempting to take her picture. "I hope you are not stomping on my poor plant... be careful of the poor plant," she said repeatedly. Related reports Suu Kyi asks India to help Myanmar progress