Suu Kyi urges India's support in Myanmar 'struggle' for democracy | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Suu Kyi urges India's support in Myanmar 'struggle' for democracy

delhi Updated: Nov 14, 2012 22:46 IST
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Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged the people of India to help her country achieve democracy as she paid a landmark visit on Wednesday to New Delhi.

"We have not yet achieved the goal of democracy and we are still trying and we hope that the people of India will stand by us and walk by us as we proceed along the path that they were able to proceed down many years before us," said Suu Kyi on her first visit in 25 years to Myanmar's giant neighbour.

Suu Kyi spoke of her sadness that India, which had been one of her staunchest supporters, changed tack in the 1990s and began to engage with Myanmar's junta at a time when it was a pariah in the West.

"I have been asked whether I have been disappointed that India had not stood staunchly by us through the years of struggle for democracy," she said at an annual lecture in memory of India's first post-independence prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

"I was saddened to feel that we have drawn away from India or rather India has drawn away from us during our very difficult days," she added.

The Nobel peace prize winner, who was released from military house arrest in 2010, had earlier been praised for her "indomitable courage" at talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Singh had invited Suu Kyi to New Delhi when he visited Myanmar in May to try to boost trade and counter the influence of regional rival China.

India shares a 1,640 kilometre (1,020 mile) border with its northeastern neighbour Myanmar, and the two former British colonies have a long shared history.

Suu Kyi's father General Aung San -- regarded as Myanmar's independence hero -- was a personal friend of Nehru.