Suu Kyi Meets Thein Sein

By The Associated Press 11 April 2012

Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with President Thein Sein on Wednesday for what a spokesman described as a very important meeting ahead of her historic entry into parliament.

National League for Democracy (NLD) spokesman Nyan Win said that during the talks in the capital, Naypyidaw, the two would discuss democratization and the peace process with ethnic rebels, as well as parliamentary affairs.

Suu Kyi’s assistant Khun Tha confirmed that the meeting had begun.

The next session of parliament opens April 23.

A historic meeting between Suu Kyi and Thein Sein last August paved the way for the NLD to rejoin electoral politics and collaborate in promoting political reconciliation.

The NLD had boycotted a November 2010 general election as unfair and undemocratic.

However, when Thein Sein took office a year ago, he began reforms easing the political landscape after almost five decades of military repression. To woo Suu Kyi’s party, the election law was amended to meet its objections.

Her party captured 43 seats in April 1 by-elections to become the main opposition presence in parliament, which is dominated by allies of the former military regime.

The polls were viewed as a milestone for Myanmar, as it emerges from a half century of military rule, and an astonishing reversal of fortune for former political prisoner Suu Kyi.

During their first meeting last August, Suu Kyi and Thein Sein had “frank and friendly discussions” to “find ways and means of cooperation,” according to an official statement at that time.

Afterward, the 66-year-old Nobel Peace laureate told reporters she believed Thein Sein was sincere and “genuinely wishes for democratic reforms.”