As Aung San Suu Kyi received her passport last week, she has started her international visits. Today she spoke on the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Bangkok. There she urged that rule of law is more needed than investments in Burma.
Rule of Law
She warned businessmen at the World Economic Forum on East Asia that “even the best investment law would be of no use whatsoever if there is no court clean enough and independent enough to be able to administer these laws justly.”
Suu Kyi spoke for an international audience for the first time in person in a foreign country in years, as she has been under house arrest for nearly two decades. In between het house arrests, she didn’t dare to leave Burma, as she would not be allowed back in.
She told the WEF: “For a moment please don’t think too much of the benefit investment will bring to investors,” Suu Kyi said. “We don’t want investment to mean further further corruption… and greater inequality.”
Aung San Suu Kyi urged therefore for a better rule a law. “Good laws already exist in Burma but we do not have a clean and independent judicial system. Unless we have such a system it is no use having the best laws in the world.”
In her 15-minute address to the forum, she called for a “healthy skepticism” towards Burma’s stumbling steps to reform under the quasi-civilian government. She seemed to be telling the world community that it may have gotten ahead of itself in the enthusiastic reception Burma has received since moving toward democracy.
Commenting on her first foreign trip after decades, the pro-democracy leader said as she flew into Bangkok she was struck by the city’s bright nightscape. “I had just left a Burma that was suffering electricity cuts… I thought thirty years ago the scene that met my eyes landing in Bangkok, would not have been very different from landing in Yangon.”
Nobel Peace Prize
She will remain in Thailand on Saturday, touring a Burmese refugee center and a clinic on the Thai-Burma border. Europe is next on the horizon, where she will address an International Labour Organization conference in Geneva and give a speech in Oslo to finally accept the Nobel Prize that she was awarded in 1991.
She also intends to travel to Britain, where she lived for years with her family, and will address a joint parliament session in London before attending a rock concert in her honour in Dublin organized by Bono, a longtime supporter.