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Myanmar

Suu Kyi calls for 'genuine' peace

Ceasefire not enough she says, without a desire to end fighting

Paul Njawng, Myitkyina

Paul Njawng, Myitkyina

Updated: February 27, 2012 09:22 AM GMT
Suu Kyi calls for 'genuine' peace
Aung San Suu Kyi addressing crowds in Kachin

Aung San Suu Kyi stressed the need for ‘genuine peace’ in the wake of continued fighting in Kachin in her National League for Democracy (NLD) campaigning in the state. In a one-hour speech to many thousands of her supporters in Myitkyina on the second day of a visit to the war-torn state on February 24, she said: “Everyone wants to live in peace. First, we must be free from fear. We should not have fear when we wake up in the morning or at night when we go to bed.” She said she was concerned about the fighting “In Kachin state, it is a problem that there is no peace right now. We must consider why we don’t have peace, don’t trust each other and don’t respect each other.” “We don’t trust and respect one another because we are not open and honest to one another.” Suu Kyi added. Amid fighting between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) since June 2011, more than 50,000 people have been displaced and are taking shelter in Kachin State and China border areas. She said there had been a ceasfire in Kachin for some years. “But a cease fire does not mean that we achieve peace. The most important thing is that we must reach a certain political solution. Then, our country will be peaceful.” “We can’t achieve genuine peace through fighting but through political talk and peaceful means.” Suu Kyi said: “If we don’t have peace, we can’t build development in our country. If our country does not have peace, it can affect our country’s future and interest. So, we should consider the Kachin issue as our family issue. We must share this suffering in Kachin state as our suffering.” Many supporters clapped and waved the NLD's fighting-peacock flag in support and others wore T-shirts bearing Suu Kyi's image.

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