Latest Aung San Suu Kyi News

  • Top Asian News at 12:30 p.m. GMT 1 hour 23 minutes ago

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — An international gathering about the plight of Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya Muslims boasts a star-studded cast, with three Nobel Peace laureates among those calling on the world to wake up to the unfolding tragedy. But fellow winner and pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will not be among them. She wasn't invited. More »

  • Unpopular but defiant, Myanmar ruling party unfazed about poll prospects
    Unpopular but defiant, Myanmar ruling party unfazed about poll prospects 16 hours ago

    By Andrew R.C. Marshall NAYPYITAW (Reuters) - Myanmar's ruling party is led by former members of a military junta, evolved from an organisation that democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi once compared to a Nazi militia, and took office through electoral fraud. This dubious history doesn't seem to faze the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), as it prepares for an historic election likely to be held in November. "I have a strong belief the USDP will win the election," senior party adviser Aung Thaung told Reuters in a rare interview at the USDP's monumental headquarters in the capital, Naypyitaw. More »

  • Aung San Suu Kyi's inexcusable silence
    Aung San Suu Kyi's inexcusable silence Sun, May 24, 2015

    Aung San Suu Kyi was a moral icon, a human rights champion - so why has she been silent about the Rohingya Muslims? More »

  • Myanmar population law raises fears for Rohingya minority
    Myanmar population law raises fears for Rohingya minority Sun, May 24, 2015

    Myanmar has enacted a population law that rights groups said Sunday targets persecuted Rohingya Muslims, a minority group at the centre of a migration crisis that has seen thousands flee the country. More »

  • Myanmar to deport migrants as UN chief urges further rescues
    Myanmar to deport migrants as UN chief urges further rescues Sat, May 23, 2015

    A group of migrants recently rescued by Myanmar will be deported to Bangladesh, officials confirmed Saturday, as the United Nations chief called on regional nations to prioritise saving the lives of those still stranded at sea. More »

  • US urges Myanmar to make Rohingya citizens to end boat crisis
    US urges Myanmar to make Rohingya citizens to end boat crisis Fri, May 22, 2015

    A senior US diplomat on Friday urged Myanmar to extend "citizenship" to the oppressed Rohingya minority to address an ongoing migrant crisis that has hit Southeast Asia, leaving thousands stranded at sea. More »

  • Amnesty Ambassador of Conscience Award: Joan Baez and Ai Weiwei show power of …
    Amnesty Ambassador of Conscience Award: Joan Baez and Ai Weiwei show power of … Thu, May 21, 2015

    In that context – if or when change comes to Hong Kong -- it will be interesting to see how Margaret Thatcher's former private secretary, Charles Powell, will gloss his categoric and faintly contemptuous statement last year that protesters in Hong Kong were "unrealistic". There was, he conceded, "a small black cloud" in Hong Kong, but, he concluded, "that's life". Amnesty International – described, at the time of its foundation more than 50 years ago, as "one of the larger lunacies of our time" – unsurprisingly stands in solidarity with those who believe in change and take risks to make the world a better place. More »

  • Myanmar acknowledges 'concern' over migrant exodus
    Myanmar acknowledges 'concern' over migrant exodus Mon, May 18, 2015

    Myanmar Monday acknowledged international "concerns" about waves of boatpeople, many of whom are fleeing from persecution, but denied it is solely to blame as thousands languish in dire straits at sea. More »

  • Asia's Looming Refugee Disaster
    Asia's Looming Refugee Disaster Sun, May 17, 2015

    In the last week, more than 5,000 refugees from the Rohingya ethnicity have fled Burma on overcrowded, unseaworthy vessels, desperately attempting to escape a humanitarian crisis at home. Some of the ships—whose occupants lack sufficient food, water, and methods of communications—have successfully docked in countries like Thailand and Malaysia. The Rohingya are a dark-skinned, Muslim ethnicity native to the area near Burma’s border with Bangladesh. In a 10-minute documentary produced by The New York Times last year, columnist Nicholas Kristof found that the Rohingya almost completely lack access to medical care or international aid. More »

  • U.S. voices concerns to Myanmar party head on race, religion bills Tue, May 5, 2015

    By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior U.S. official met the head of Myanmar's ruling party and parliamentary speaker on Monday and expressed concerns about race and religion bills critics say discriminate against minority Muslims. The U.S. State Department said that in a meeting with Shwe Mann in Washington, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed the importance of holding "inclusive, credible, and transparent" elections later this year. Blinken also raised the need for constitutional reform, reconciliation with ethnic groups and "durable solutions" to human rights issues. In February, the Myanmar government announced it would revoke temporary identification cards for Rohingyas on May 31, effectively disenfranchising them just days after parliament approved a law affirming their right to vote. More »

  • Myanmar speaker says he'll run for presidency if nominated Sat, May 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Myanmar parliament speaker and former junta member Shwe Mann said Friday on a visit to Washington that he will run for the nation's presidency if nominated by the ruling party, and would consider forming a coalition with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. More »

  • Myanmar ruling party chief ready to stand as president if called Fri, May 1, 2015

    By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of Myanmar's ruling party said on Friday he would stand as national president if nominated, and was willing to cooperate with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, or anyone working in the interests of the country. Shwe Mann, the speaker of Myanmar's parliament, also told a Washington think tank his party had "aspirations" to change the military-dominated constitution, but indicated time was running short ahead of November general elections. His Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) is comprised largely of former military officers and was created from a social movement set up by the former junta. Asked if would run as president if nominated, Shwe Mann, in Washington to meet U.S. officials and congressional leaders, replied: "Of course, if the USDP nominated me as a presidential candidate, I would be happy to accept." Asked if he would be willing to enter a coalition with National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is barred under the constitution from standing as president because she was married to a foreigner, Shwe Mann said they were "very good friends with each other. More »

  • Glittering year for Myanmar's golden pagoda
    Glittering year for Myanmar's golden pagoda Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    As he smooths a gold plaque on the glistening flank of Myanmar's most prestigious Buddhist pagoda, a merchant pays his ancestors the highest honour -- and contributes to a bumper year of donations to re-gild the sacred site. More »

  • U.S. removes prominent Myanmar businessman from sanctions list Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    By David Brunnstrom and Jared Ferrie WASHINGTON/YANGON (Reuters) - The United States removed a prominent businessman from its Myanmar sanctions list on Thursday, in spite of doubts about reforms in the Southeast Asian country. Win Aung, the head of Myanmar's chamber of commerce whose Dagon International construction firm won contracts to help build the country's nine-year-old capital of Naypyitaw, was removed from the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons list, the U.S. State Department said in a statement. The statement provided no details on why Win Aung was removed from the list. John Viverito, a Singapore-based lawyer who shepherded Win Aung’s petition through a 14-month delisting process, said U.S. officials took into account his support for democratic reform and his willingness to disclose financial data. More »

  • Top Asian News at 6:30 p.m. GMT Sun, Apr 12, 2015

    DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Thousands of Bangladeshis poured onto the streets to applaud the execution of an Islamist party official on charges of crimes against humanity during the country's 1971 independence war, while security forces were on alert Sunday for a possible backlash from his supporters. Mohammad Qamaruzzaman was hanged Saturday night in the central jail in the capital, Dhaka, a senior prison official, Forman Ali, told reporters. He was buried early Sunday under tight security, according to his brother, Kafil Uddin. More »

  • Top Asian News at 5:30 p.m. GMT Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen in restive southwestern Pakistan shot and killed at least 20 workers early Saturday at a dam construction site, the deadliest recent attack targeting civilians in a region facing a low-level insurgency, authorities said. The violence targeted the Gobdan area of the Turbat district in southwestern Baluchistan province, a region where nationalist and separatist Baluch groups have fought against the Islamabad-based government for years. However, no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in Pakistan, a country that faces a deadly Taliban insurgency and threats from other Islamic extremists. More »

  • Myanmar high-level meeting political talks consider reforms
    Myanmar high-level meeting political talks consider reforms Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi held talks with Myanmar's top political and military leaders in what a government spokesman described as a "successful meeting," but there was no sign the participants bridged their differences on political reforms ahead of an election later this year. More »

  • Top Asian News at 4:30 p.m. GMT Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    PARIS (AP) — Twelve helicopters, bristling with guns and U.S. Marines, breached the morning horizon and began a daring descent toward Cambodia's besieged capital. Residents believed the Americans were rushing in to save them, but at the U.S. Embassy, in a bleeding city about to die, the ambassador wept. Forty years later, John Gunther Dean recalls one of the most tragic days of his life — April 12, 1975, the day the United States "abandoned Cambodia and handed it over to the butcher." More »

  • Myanmar's government, military leaders hold rare talks with Suu Kyi
    Myanmar's government, military leaders hold rare talks with Suu Kyi Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    By Aung Hla Tun YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi held rare talks with President Thein Sein and military leaders on Friday to discuss a general election, a controversial constitution and a ceasefire with ethnic minority rebels, a participant said. Thein Sein's government has launched a series of political and economic reforms since taking power in 2011, after nearly 50 years of military rule, but many people feel the reform process has stalled, with the military still holding extensive power. Nobel laureate Suu Kyi was scathing about what she called Thein Sein's "hardline regime" in an interview with Reuters this month, saying boycotting the election expected in November was an "option" if a military-drafted constitution that grants substantial political power to the military remained unchanged. More »

  • Suu Kyi's political skills tested in pre-election showdown
    Suu Kyi's political skills tested in pre-election showdown Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    By Andrew R.C. Marshall and Simon Webb NAYPYITAW (Reuters) - With an historic general election just seven months away, Myanmar opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is locked in a high-stakes showdown with a military-backed government she says isn't interested in reform. Some of her supporters within Myanmar's pro-democracy movement have begun to question whether the country's most popular politician has the political ability to prevail. Aung Zaw and others, including some current student activists, say Suu Kyi made a critical mistake when she stood for parliament three years ago in a by-election, becoming a lawmaker in a system that remains far from fully democratic. "She lent a whole undeserved legitimacy to the regime," Aung Zaw said. More »

  • Number of slaves found on Indonesian island at almost 550
    Number of slaves found on Indonesian island at almost 550 Fri, Apr 10, 2015

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The number of enslaved fishermen found on a remote Indonesian island has now reached nearly 550, after a fact-finding team returned for a single day to make sure no one had been left behind nearly a week after more than half of the men were removed in a dramatic rescue. More »

  • Top Asian News at 3:30 p.m. GMT Thu, Apr 9, 2015

    TOKYO (AP) — The last time the United States tried the military option on North Korea, more than a million died, a hostile and unexpectedly resilient adversary emerged and instead of regime change it got three generations of the Kim family. Understandably, there is little appetite in Washington to try that again. But if sending in the Marines is off the table, what's an administration to do? A bill now making its way through the U.S. Congress — and being watched closely in Pyongyang — is designed to shut off the North, and anyone who deals with it, from the U.S. dollar. More »

  • Myanmar holds rare talks as Suu Kyi pushes for charter change
    Myanmar holds rare talks as Suu Kyi pushes for charter change Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    Myanmar's President Thein Sein held rare talks Wednesday with influential allies and rivals including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as she intensifies efforts to lift a constitutional ban on her presidential bid. More »

  • Suu Kyi says boycott of Myanmar election an option
    Suu Kyi says boycott of Myanmar election an option Fri, Apr 3, 2015

    By Andrew R.C. Marshall and Simon Webb NAYPYITAW (Reuters) - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said boycotting an upcoming historic election was an "option" if a military-drafted constitution that bars her from becoming president remains unchanged. In an interview on Friday, the Nobel laureate told Reuters that her opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party was "ready to govern" but that President Thein Sein was insincere about reform and might try to postpone the election. She also said U.S. praise for Myanmar's semi-civilian government, which took power in 2011 after nearly 50 years of brutal military rule, had made it "complacent" about reform. While scathing about what she called Thein Sein's "hardline regime", Suu Kyi emphasised the need to reconcile with the military which detained her for 15 years until her release from house arrest in 2010. More »

  • About 4,000 fishermen stranded on Indonesian islands
    About 4,000 fishermen stranded on Indonesian islands Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The number of foreign fishermen stranded on several remote eastern Indonesian islands has spiraled to 4,000, including some revealed in an Associated Press investigation to have been enslaved. More »

  • Myanmar army commander pledges successful elections
    Myanmar army commander pledges successful elections Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    NAYPYITAW, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar's powerful military commander pledged Friday to support the holding of successful elections in November, calling them "an important landmark for democracy," and warned that the army will not tolerate instability or armed threats. More »

  • Myanmar protesters defiant at court hearing
    Myanmar protesters defiant at court hearing Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Angry relatives gathered outside a Myanmar court Wednesday to show support for dozens of activists, arrested after a police crackdown on a student-led protest and facing charges that could see them jailed for nearly a decade. More »

  • 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 »