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Suu Kyi meets PM, says it's good to be back

delhi Updated: Nov 14, 2012 15:38 IST
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Myanmar's pro-democracy iconic leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discussed the political transition going on in her country.

The talks between Manmohan Singh and Suu Kyi focused on the process of political reforms in Myanmar and the need to scale up relations between the two countries, said official sources.

According to official sources, the Prime Minister told Suu Kyi that "our good wishes are with you as indeed with your struggle for democracy. We admire you for the indomitable courage you have shown" during the meeting which lasted for about half-an-hour following which they met without aides.

"The two discussed a variety of issues including the national reconciliation process underway in Myanmar and the process of democratisation in this context. The Prime Minister welcomed the progress made by Daw Suu Kyi and President Thien Sien," the sources said.

The two leaders also agreed that people-to-people relations were important apart from holding discussions about greater cooperation between the Parliaments and judiciaries of the two countries.

The Prime Minister expressed his happiness to receive Suu Kyi in New Delhi and thanked her for accepting the invitation to deliver the Jawaharlal Nehru lecture. She was invited by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Chairperson of The National League for Democracy of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi (L) meets with PM Manmohan Singh at his residence in New Delhi. AFP photo

Suu Kyi began her six-day visit to India Tuesday, her first trip to the country where she studied after a quarter century.

"It's good to be back in India," the Nobel laureate told a TV news channel Wednesday morning.

"It feels very good to be in India, and I am glad that I can still recognise parts of Delhi," she said.

Suu Kyi studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary School and graduated in political science from Lady Shri Ram College, one of Delhi's most reputed colleges for women, when her mother was Burma's envoy to India.

She is expected to meet students and the faculty of LSR, as her college is known.

On the political level, she said she wanted closer relations between the people of the two countries because a gulf had emerged in recent years.

Suu Kyi and her mother -- Suu Kyi's father was a friend of Nehru -- lived in the 1960s on 24 Akbar Road, now the headquarters of the Congress party.

Chairperson of The National League for Democracy of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi sprinkles rose petals as while paying tribute at Rajghat, The Memorial to Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi. AFP photo

Suu Kyi is also scheduled to meet Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

She will visit The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Gurgaon, before flying to Bangalore and Andhra Pradesh.

In Bangalore where she will visit the Indian Institute of Science and the Infosys campus. She is also scheduled to tour rural areas in Andhra Pradesh to gain a first-hand impression of rural development and women's empowerment programmes being undertaken in India.

Suu Kyi spent several years in India during her early days when her mother Daw Khin Yi was Ambassador to India. She also spent some time as a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla in 1987.

India honoured Suu Kyi with the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1992 while she was under house arrest under the military government in Myanmar.