Former leader Suu Kyi breaks silence, urges Burmese to ‘be united’

FILE PHOTO: Wikimedia

In rare comments, the former leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, has called on the Burmese people to be united. According to a Reuters report, the comments were confirmed by a source close to Suu Kyi’s legal proceedings. Suu Kyi, along with the democratically elected government, was ousted by a military coup on February 1 last year.

The former leader is now on trial, facing accusations of violating a state secrets law, multiple trumped up corruption charges, and a raft of other offences. In total, the charges carry combined maximum prison terms of over 150 years. Reuters’ source says Suu Kyi is urging the Burmese people to be united and continue dialogue with one another…

“Aung San Suu Kyi tells the people to ‘be united’, to have open dialogue among each other.”

The source, who does not wish to be identified, given that the military is limiting what information is made available about Suu Kyi and her trial, quotes the former leader’s words asking people to respect each other’s views.

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“‘Everyone has a different view – discuss and talk patiently.'”

According to the Reuters report, the anonymous source would not be drawn on why Suu Kyi is calling for unity, but insists it is not a call to engage in talks with the Burmese junta. There has been no comment from the military on the matter.

The source report that a verdict is expected next week in relation to a corruption charge that accuses Suu Kyi of accepting bribes of gold and cash. She has denied the charge. Last year, she was found guilty of several offences, in a trial that took place behind closed doors and run by the military Junta. Prior to the coup, she had faced international condemnation as a result of the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

After the military coup ousted Suu Kyi and her democratically-elected government, the United Nations and various rights groups have accused the junta of committing atrocities against the Burmese. The military refute the allegations.

SOURCE: Reuters

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Maya Taylor

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