Burma

In a First, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Lectures at National Defense College

By Htet Naing Zaw 21 February 2019

NAYPYITAW — State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto leader and foreign minister, for the first time spoke at the National Defense College in Naypyitaw on Tuesday.

“It was her first time. She lectured representing the Foreign Ministry. I heard that she also explained the current situation in Myanmar. She had lunch with the trainees,” a military officer told The Irrawaddy on condition of anonymity.

The officials said she also touched on Myanmar’s foreign policy and that her appearance at the college was a sign of positive relations between the military and her civilian government.

The military had invited the Foreign Ministry to deliver a series of lectures at the college.

The college trains many of the military’s colonels and has a reputation for taking in officers with leadership potential. Much of their studies focus on the politics and economies of other countries.

Other senior government officials have lectured at the college before, including Investment Commission Secretary U Aung Naing Oo, but the state counselor’s turn was especially significant, said one colonel, who asked not to be named.

“Relevant scholars have delivered lectures on politics and economics. There were also some ministers who came and lectured. But this is the first time the state counselor has lectured,” he said.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s lectures came amid her ruling National League for Democracy party’s attempts to amend the military-drafted Constitution in Parliament. The military has been resisting the move, claiming the party is not following proper procedures, which the party denies.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.

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