UK supports Suu Kyi’s call for democratic reform in Myanmar

London: Britain has assured democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi that it will help to build international pressure on Myanmar for further reforms to ensure that the 2015 elections are fully democratic.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Minister William Hague and the Development Secretary met with Suu Kyi in London yesterday to discuss democratic progress and human rights in Myanmar.

Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi says that there is a need to change the Constitution crafted by the former military regime.

The current Constitution blocks her from becoming president after 2015 under a clause barring anyone whose spouses or children are foreign nationals.

The Prime Minister and I agree with Suu Kyi that changing the Constitution will be vital for Myanmar’s reforms, in order that the elections in 2015 can be fully democratic.

Welcoming her to Downing Street, Cameron said Britain would do “everything we can” to support Suu Kyi in her efforts to change the constitution, which will require the agreement of the current president Thein Sein and the military.

Cameron added: “We will do everything we can to build the international pressure to send the clearest possible message to the Burmese government that these changes must be made.”

The Burmese people must be free to choose their future leader. In London and Belfast on 23 and 24 October, Aung San Suu Kyi will meet figures from all sides of the Northern Ireland peace process to consider how lessons could be applied to ethnic reconciliation in Burma.

The UK is funding experts with peace process experience to support the Burmese government and ethnic groups in their efforts to resolve the conflict between them.