Latest Aung San Suu Kyi News

  • Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and U.S. singer Joan Baez get Amnesty's top rights …
    Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and U.S. singer Joan Baez get Amnesty's top rights … Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Amnesty International has given its top 2015 human rights award to both Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, a fierce critic of Beijing who has been banned from leaving China after an 81-day detention in 2011, and U.S. folksinger Joan Baez. The Ambassador of Conscience Award recognises "those who have shown exceptional leadership in the fight for human rights, through their life and work", Amnesty said in a statement on Tuesday. Previous winners include Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, South African former leader Nelson Mandela and Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. "Through his work Ai Weiwei reminds us that the right of every individual to express their self must be protected, not just for the sake of society, but also for art and humanity," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty's Secretary General, in the statement. More »

  • Ai Weiwei, Joan Baez honored by Amnesty International
    Ai Weiwei, Joan Baez honored by Amnesty International Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    BEIJING (AP) — Amnesty International awarded its top honor Tuesday to Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who has spent years shining light on his country's restrictive political atmosphere, and to U.S. folk singer Joan Baez for her civil rights activism. More »

  • Myanmar to invite Western observers for general election
    Myanmar to invite Western observers for general election Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    YANGON (Reuters) – - A senior member of Myanmar's government has said members of the U.S.-based Carter Center and the European Union will be invited to monitor a general election later this year, the first time in at least 65 years that the country will call in Western poll observers. "We'll allow the Carter foundation and EU to observe the upcoming general election independently to ensure the election takes place free and fair," Soe Thein, a senior minister at the president’s Office, said at a forum on Monday. "It will be the first general election held under a democratically elected government in many years," he said. Foreign observers were not allowed in the 2010 general elections that ushered in Myanmar's first semi-civilian government after almost half a century of military rule. More »

  • Myanmar military to maintain political role, president says
    Myanmar military to maintain political role, president says Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    Myanmar's military will maintain its role in politics in order to support a transition to democracy but will eventually submit to civilian rule, President Thein Sein said in an interview broadcast on Friday. Myanmar was ruled by the military for 49 years before a semi-civilian government took power in 2011 and initiated widespread political and economic reforms. The opposition National League for Democracy party, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has called for the military to step away from politics. Thein Sein, a former general, said the military initiated the reform process and still needed to play a political role in order to support the transition to democracy. More »

  • Myanmar jails two journalists for defamation Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    A Myanmar court has jailed two reporters for two months for defamation, a newspaper editor said on Thursday, in a case likely to raise concern about a reform programme after half a century of strict military rule. The media in Myanmar has enjoyed sweeping freedoms since a semi-civilian government took power in 2011 but the Committee to Protect Journalists said recently that since then, 10 journalists had been jailed and 19 were facing trial, and Myanmar was the 10th worst jailor of media workers in 2014. The Myanmar Post Journal said a court in Mon State had sentenced its chief editor, Than Htike Thu, and deputy chief reporter, Hsan Moe Tun, to the prison terms on Wednesday after a military representative to parliament had filed a complaint. Thaw Naing, the newspaper's editor-in-charge, told Reuters the military representative had complained he was misquoted in a report about the sharing of seats in parliament between civilians and military representatives. More »

  • Great Escaper's haul fetches £1,650
    Great Escaper's haul fetches £1,650 Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    Items, including medals, belonging to the late war veteran Bernard Jordan - who sprang to prominence when he made a cross-Channel dash to last year's 70th anniversary D-Day events - have sold at auction for £1,650. More »

  • Suu Kyi's party to compete in Myanmar vote despite block
    Suu Kyi's party to compete in Myanmar vote despite block Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    By Aung Hla Tun and Simon Webb BANGKOK (Reuters) - The party of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will contest the general election this year even if there is no change in the constitution to allow the Nobel laureate to become president, one of the party's top leaders said on Friday. The National League for Democracy would have more power to push for an end to the military’s veto over charter changes and remove the obstacles to her presidency if it wins the election, NLD Central Executive Committee Secretary Nyan Win said. After that, we will be in a stronger position and we hope we can change the constitution." The NLD had not previously committed to competing in the election, prompting speculation Suu Kyi was using participation as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the government. Without Suu Kyi, who spent nearly two decades under house arrest for campaigning for democracy, the election would have lacked international legitimacy. More »

  • After crackdown on students, Myanmar's will to reform questioned
    After crackdown on students, Myanmar's will to reform questioned Thu, Mar 12, 2015

    By Jared Ferrie YANGON (Reuters) - A student march through central Myanmar in protest against a new education law began as an unremarkable procession from the country's seat of learning and culture, Mandalay, to the commercial hub of Yangon. "I lived under military rule all my life and I never experienced such a crackdown," said Maung Moccy, a student leader and former political prisoner who said he saw police officers batter unarmed students with wooden batons. "Honestly, I'm afraid they have decided to backslide on democracy." The United States and the European Union, which have backed Myanmar's move towards democracy after half a century of military rule, have condemned the violence in the town of Letpadan, about 140 km (90) miles north of Yangon. The opposition National League for Democracy of Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel laureate and Myanmar's icon of political freedom, demanded an inquiry. More »

  • Myanmar opposition demands inquiry into police clashes with students
    Myanmar opposition demands inquiry into police clashes with students Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    By Jared Ferrie YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) demanded an inquiry on Wednesday into clashes between police protesters in which students, monks and journalists were beaten with batons and more than 100 people were arrested. Students protesting against a proposed education law were blocked from marching to Yangon and were forcibly dispersed after a standoff which lasted more than a week. "An investigation commission should be organised and its statement should be made to the public very soon," the NLD, headed by Noble Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, said in a statement. The United States and European Union condemned the violence in Myanmar, which has been slowly allowing more democracy since a semi-civilian reformist government took power in 2011 after 49 years of military rule. More »

  • In Myanmar, batons fly as student protesters meet harsh response Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    Hundreds of Myanmar police struck out violently against university students and activists protesting a new education law, hitting and dragging them away to trucks, and bringing an ugly end to a month of demonstrations in this small town. Myanmar once had one of the best university systems in Southeast Asia, but standards fell sharply during nearly five decades of military rule. Their protests have spread across the country, and many protesters have worn symbolic straw hats and sung songs that hearken back to historic democratic uprisings in 1988. Police officers swung black batons at the heads of protesters and punched and kicked them. More »

  • Myanmar riot police break up student protest over education law Tue, Mar 10, 2015

    A weeklong standoff between students and security forces in Myanmar turned violent Tuesday when baton-wielding riot police broke up a demonstration over a controversial education law. The students had been marching towards Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city and former capital. Hundreds set out on foot from the central city of Mandalay more than a month ago in a symbolic protest against a new education law they say curbs academic freedom by centralizing state control over higher education. The crackdown comes amid Myanmar’s unsteady transition from military rule to democracy and signals that the country’s reforms are far from complete. More »

  • Myanmar defends rally crackdown as police arrest more protesters
    Myanmar defends rally crackdown as police arrest more protesters Fri, Mar 6, 2015

    Myanmar authorities defended a crackdown on a Yangon rally, which saw police and men in civilian clothes beat unarmed protesters, as security forces made fresh arrests on Friday. More »

  • Myanmar student protesters defy deadline to disperse
    Myanmar student protesters defy deadline to disperse Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    Student protesters calling for education reform on Tuesday defied an order to disperse in a tense standoff with hundreds of riot police in central Myanmar. More »

  • Myanmar president hosts rare Suu Kyi talks amid constitution debate Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    By Aung Hla Tun YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar President Thein Sein had a rare meeting on Monday with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss constitutional changes and the first election under the country's new democratic system, a minister said. It was the fifth round of talks between the two since the Nobel laureate's release from house arrest in 2010 and coincided with a sharpening debate over a constitution that grants a powerful political role to the military but bars Suu Kyi from becoming president. "It was a one-on-one meeting and they discussed matters concerning constitutional amendments and holding a free and fair general election," presidential spokesman and information minister Ye Htut said on his Facebook page late on Monday. Thein Sein approved a constitutional referendum law last month following domestic and international pressure to reform a political system long stacked in favour of the military. More »

  • Dozens of Myanmar troops killed fighting northern rebels
    Dozens of Myanmar troops killed fighting northern rebels Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Heavy fighting between Myanmar's army and rebels has killed 47 soldiers, state media said Friday, sending a flood of people across the border with China and overshadowing hopes for a national ceasefire as a crucial election looms. More »

  • Myanmar government warns students to stop march for reforms Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's government warned student protesters on Friday against marching to Yangon to seek educational reforms, saying "action will be taken" to restore law and order if they go ahead. More »

  • As polls loom, Myanmar's Suu Kyi leads rally honouring hero father
    As polls loom, Myanmar's Suu Kyi leads rally honouring hero father Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi addressed a crowd of thousands Friday in the biggest celebrations honouring her independence hero father in memory, underscoring her legacy months before leading the opposition to momentous elections. More »

  • Despite new Myanmar law, Suu Kyi not likely to have a shot at presidency
    Despite new Myanmar law, Suu Kyi not likely to have a shot at presidency Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    By Jared Ferrie YANGON (Reuters) - A new law that enables Myanmar to hold a referendum on amending the constitution is unlikely to bring changes that would allow opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to become president after this year's general election, a ruling party MP said on Thursday. President Thein Sein has signed off on a constitutional referendum law, lawmakers said on Wednesday. The move comes after domestic and international pressure to reform Myanmar's political system, which is stacked in favour of the military. Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party have been pushing for changes to the constitution, which the military drafted. More »

  • Myanmar president enacts law allowing referendum on disputed constitution
    Myanmar president enacts law allowing referendum on disputed constitution Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    By Jared Ferrie YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's president has approved a law allowing a referendum on changes to the constitution, lawmakers said on Wednesday, a move that could eventually lift what amounts to a ban on opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from the presidency. President Thein Sein's government has come under domestic and international pressure to reform Myanmar's political system, which is stacked in favour of the military, before a general election this year. Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party have been pushing for changes to the constitution, which the military drafted. One clause bars Suu Kyi from becoming president because her two sons are British citizens, a chapter U.S. President Barack Obama said made "no sense". More »

  • Myanmar government and students agree on points of reform Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's government reached an agreement Wednesday with student protesters who have been marching to Yangon to seek education reforms, but the deal announced by the two sides still needs parliamentary approval. More »

  • Myanmar leader voids temporary ID cards for non-citizens
    Myanmar leader voids temporary ID cards for non-citizens Wed, Feb 11, 2015

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's president declared Wednesday that a system of temporary identification cards for people seeking citizenship will become invalid at the end of March, negating an earlier decision that would have allowed card holders to vote in an upcoming constitutional referendum. More »

  • Foreign firms and human rights abuses in Myanmar
    Foreign firms and human rights abuses in Myanmar Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    Forced evictions and violence at copper mines in northern Myanmar continue after decades of profit-making, report says. More »

  • Myanmar nationalists threaten protests over Rohingya vote change
    Myanmar nationalists threaten protests over Rohingya vote change Fri, Feb 6, 2015

    By Jared Ferrie YANGON (Reuters) - Nationalist monks and some political leaders in Myanmar have threatened to hold mass rallies to protest a parliamentary decision giving the Rohingya ethnic minority voting rights in a referendum to amend the constitution. Many in Myanmar consider them illegal immigrants even though they have lived in the area for generations. Few Rohingya are full citizens, but most hold temporary national identification cards known as white cards. They were able to vote in a 2008 referendum to approve Myanmar’s military-drafted constitution, as well as in elections in 2010. More »

  • Myanmar students reject government warning to stop protests Fri, Feb 6, 2015

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — University students from across Myanmar on Friday rejected a government warning that they stop protesting against a new education law that they say prohibits them from engaging in political activities and curbs academic freedom. More »

  • Gate Myanmar's Suu Kyi spoke from to go up for auction
    Gate Myanmar's Suu Kyi spoke from to go up for auction Mon, Feb 2, 2015

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — The iron gate that stood in front of the home of Myanmar's formerly imprisoned democracy icon, separating her from throngs of cheering supporters as she made speeches challenging the country's then-military rulers, is going on the auction block. More »

  • Myanmar icon Suu Kyi's front gate up for auction
    Myanmar icon Suu Kyi's front gate up for auction Mon, Feb 2, 2015

    Proceeds will go towards helping Aung San Suu Kyi build new headquarters for her National League for Democracy party. More »

  • US official warns Myanmar of danger of religious intolerance
    US official warns Myanmar of danger of religious intolerance Fri, Jan 16, 2015

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Visiting human rights officials warned Myanmar on Friday that using religion to divide the population is like "playing with fire" and new laws proposed by the government could inflame sectarian tensions. More »

  • As reforms stall, US and Myanmar to discuss human rights
    As reforms stall, US and Myanmar to discuss human rights Sat, Jan 10, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is hoping to nudge Myanmar's quasi-civilian government on stalled reforms during a high-level human rights dialogue, yet expectations are limited as the former pariah nation enters a crucial election year. More »

  • Widow of D-Day 'Great Escaper' dies
    Widow of D-Day 'Great Escaper' dies Thu, Jan 8, 2015

    The wife of a war veteran who slipped away from his care home to attend last year's 70th anniversary D-Day events in France has died - just days after his death. More »

  • D-Day 'Great Escaper' dies aged 90
    D-Day 'Great Escaper' dies aged 90 Tue, Jan 6, 2015

    A war veteran who left his care home to attend last year's 70th anniversary D-Day events in France has died - months before he hoped to return to Normandy's beaches. More »

  • Myanmar's Suu Kyi says "too early" to commit to 2015 election
    Myanmar's Suu Kyi says "too early" to commit to 2015 election Tue, Dec 30, 2014

    By Jared Ferrie YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi called on the government on Tuesday to hold a transparent election next year and said her party was waiting for a poll date to be set before deciding whether to run. The Nobel laureate said it was "too early" to commit, when asked at a news conference if her party would contest the ballot scheduled for the end of 2015. "As I'm not an astrologer, I cannot say what the situation will be," she said. "I'm just a politician. As politicians we can calculate, but we can't assume the situation will happen as we calculate. ... More »

  • Myanmar's opposition undecided on contesting polls Tue, Dec 30, 2014

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Tuesday it is too early for her party to decide whether it will participate in 2015 elections because it depends on whether the constitution and election laws are amended. More »

  • UN urges Myanmar to give citizenship to Rohingya Muslims Tue, Dec 30, 2014

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution Monday urging Myanmar to provide "full citizenship" to its Rohingya Muslim minority and to allow them to move freely throughout the country. More »

  • Hundreds protest against China-backed mine in Myanmar
    Hundreds protest against China-backed mine in Myanmar Sat, Dec 27, 2014

    Around 500 people including dozens of Buddhist monks protested near the Chinese consulate in Myanmar's central city of Mandalay on Saturday demanding the closure of a flashpoint copper mine. More »

  • Yangon votes for first time in 60 years
    Yangon votes for first time in 60 years Sat, Dec 27, 2014

    Residents of Myanmar's commercial hub Yangon went to the polls Saturday for the first municipal elections in six decades, with voters enthusiastic for change even though many knew little about the candidates or their policies. More »