Suu Kyi Meets Indian PM

By Colin Hinshelwood 29 May 2012

Burma’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi met with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Rangoon on Tuesday shortly ahead of her landmark visit to the World Economic Forum in Bangkok.

Singh is on an official visit to Burma—the first Indian prime minister to do so in 25 years—where he signed a dozen agreements, mostly focused on India’s energy needs and bilateral trade.

Concluding his historic visit to Burma, officially known as Myanmar, Dr Singh held a 45-minute talk with Suu Kyi at the Sedona Hotel in Burma’s former capital, and handed her an invitation from Sonia Gandhi, the chairperson of India’s ruling UPA coalition, to visit the country where she grew up after her father was assassinated.

According to Indian daily The Hindu, Dr. Singh also handed the Burmese opposition leader an invitation to deliver the next Jawaharlal Nehru memorial lecture in India.

Accepting in principle the invite, Suu Kyi reportedly said, “I hope I will be able to take up the invitation not before too long.”

The Hindu reported that Suu Kyi recalled the close association she and her parents had with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and his family.

“India and Burma have been friends not only because of geographical proximity, but also because of shared values, heritage and fight for independence,” she reportedly said.

The Indian premier paid “rich compliments” to the Nobel Peace Prize winner, saying her “struggle and her determination has inspired millions of people all over the world.”