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UN praise as Suu Kyi enters parliament

Ban Ki-moon praises democracy efforts, invites opposition leader to New York

John Zaw, Yangon

May 2, 2012

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UN chief, Ban-Ki-moon has hailed Aung San Suu Kyi’s efforts in the fight for democracy in Myanmar and has welcomed her party’s decision to take their seats in parliament today. He is thought to have been instrumental in encouraging the democracy icon to compromise in her stance on the wording of an oath of allegiance so that she and other members of her National League for Democracy could be sworn in this morning in the parliamentary building in Naypyitaw. After meeting the pro-democracy leader at her lakeside home in Yangon yesterday, Ban congratulated the Myanmar people and the government for having embarked on the democratic process. He also praised Suu Kyi for backing down in the dispute regarding reciting the MP’s oath in parliament, saying, “I really do admire and respect her decision. I’ m sure that she will play a very constructive and active role as a parliamentarian for this country.” When asked about her decision to back down over the oath, Suu Kyi said, “We have always believed in flexibility in the political process and flexibility is not a new concept for us. It is the only way we can achieve our goals without violence.” Expressing hope for the future Ban said, “I am sure that the leaders of this country will work together and make progress. They deserve our support and the support of the international community.” The UN will continue to stand by the people in every step and in every way but this process should be “irreversible,” Ban added. Ban also invited Suu Kyi to visit the UN headquarters in New York. Suu Kyi told reporters she had accepted the invitation but no “definite time frame” had been decided on that yet. On Monday, Ban met with president U Thein Sein and addressed the parliament, becoming the first high profile foreign dignitary to do so.  
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