Suu Kyi says peace top aim in Myanmar

Beijing, Aug 20 (IANS) Achieving peace and unity in Myanmar is the most important aim, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi said in Beijing.

Suu Kyi told this to Chinese media on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Suu Kyi is on a five-day visit to China at the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang. China is the first country that Suu Kyi has visited outside of the Asean, since she took office in April.

She said that peace and unity among different groups was what Myanmar needed the most.

“Without peace, there can be no sustained development,” Suu Kyi said.

Ethnic armed groups have existed in Myanmar since the country gained independence in January 1948.

The Myanmar government started ceasefire talks with several armed groups in November 2013, and a nationwide ceasefire accord between the government and eight ethnic armed groups was finally signed last year.

The Myanmar government formed an 11-member National Reconciliation and Peace Centre (NRPC) on July 11 this year, led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar will hold a meeting called “the 21th century Panglong meeting”, which aims to bring more ethnic armed groups to sign the ceasefire agreement and to participate in the peace process.

“The peace process, of course, is our process and the people of Myanmar must build peace in our country,” said Suu Kyi, adding that Myanmar believes that China is a good neighbour and will do every thing possible to promote the peace process.

Regarding Myanmar’s economic development in the future, Suu Kyi named job creation, national plans for energy and construction, and a new way of developing agriculture.

“With high unemployment in the country, Myanmar needs to create jobs for people so that they can use their own ability to earn a living and live a dignified and secure life,” she said.

In addition, Myanmar has to develop its agriculture sector because the great majority of its people — about 70 per cent of the population — depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

While answering a question about her father General Aung San’s legacy, Suu Kyi said: “It was the idea of honest leadership that aimed at serving the people rather than exploiting them.”

“Unity among different ethnic groups of the country is greatly desired,” she added.

“This is what my father would have desired and what we all desire, not because it is part of his legacy, but because it is what we need for our country,” Suu Kyi said.

–IANS

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