Suu Kyi speaks to media following president’s meeting

Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi spoke to media at her house in Nay Pyi Taw on Monday after President Thein Sein’s meeting with the Union Parliament speaker, the commander-in-chief of Defence Services, leaders of Myanmar's political parties, ethnic affairs ministers and herself, which was held at the Presidential Palace.

“The meeting that has just taken place was not a six-party talk. The discussions were very general because there were 48 people present. No one can deny this,” Suu Kyi said.

“As I have already said, proposed six-party talks should not be avoided. The President has not yet respond to all I have said.”

“Ethnic affairs ministers were present. These people are from the government. Wasn’t the point of the meeting to talk to political party leaders? I don’t know why they were invited. They are neither party leaders nor parliamentary leaders. I don’t know what invitations were based on.”

“The conversation with the commander-in-chief of Defence Services did not include military affairs,” she added.

Suu Kyi said she used the meeting as an opportunity to discuss constitutional amendment.

“My participation followed the three points stated in the invitation. Our party’s [Central Executive Committee] agreed on what to discuss. It will be released by our party headquarters. I do not accept that the constitutional amendment is up to parliament only. All are responsible. Our people are also responsible. This is why I am learning what the public desires.”

“Most people say they have never heard, seen or read the constitution. The reason they show little interest in it is because they have no knowledge of it. However, they understand it when it is explained, and they understand why it must be amended. If we accept that the people truly have no interest in the constitution, we have about the fact that 92 per cent of the people supported the constitution in 2008, which contradicts the claim that they have no interest in it.”

Suu Kyi also summarised parts of the meeting pertaining to national elections.

“We cannot describe what U Tin Aye has said about the election as ‘not important’. But he and his commission have already explained election matters. This discussion was not the same as what needs to be discussed in our proposed six-party meeting. Political parties and the Election Commission have frequently met.”