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Singh meets Suu Kyi, invites her to India

world Updated: May 30, 2012 01:39 IST
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
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Prime-Minister-Manmohan-Singh-and-Myanmar-s-Opposition-leader-Aung-San-Suu-Kyi-leader-of-National-League-for-Democracy-NLD-shake-hands-after-an-interaction-with-the-media-in-Yangon-Myanmar-PTI-Photo-Kamal-Kishore

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during a one-hour meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, handed over an invitation to give the next Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture in India.

Suu Kyi accepted the invitation but gave no date, saying only she hoped “to find it possible to visit India before too long”.

Singh, on the last day of his state visit to Myanmar, said he had handed over the invitation letter from Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi.

He spoke of how Suu Kyi’s “life, struggle and determination” had inspired people around the world. Singh said India hoped Suu Kyi would “play a defining role” in the national reconciliation process launched by Myanmar President Thien Sien.

Suu Kyi said “India and Burma have much to learn from each other” and how happy she was at the idea of “closer ties” with India.

The head of the opposition National League for Democracy said the two countries could contribute to “peace and stability in the region”.

While Singh had not mentioned the word “democracy”, Suu Kyi clearly kept that in mind, saying “we share goals, democratic goals” in the region.

Both spoke of the historical links between the two countries, including how the two independence struggles had been intertwined, how her father Aung San had been close to Jawaharlal Nehru.

Their press interaction lasted only five minutes which, Myanmar journalists said, was short in comparison to the 30 minutes Suu Kyi had spoken with earlier foreign visitors, including the South Korean president and the British prime minister.

Singh subsequently met the Indian community in Yangon and gave a speech on bilateral relations.

Lady Shri Ram College, Aung San Suu Kyi’s alma mater in New Delhi, has already asked to be able to give her an honorary degree if and when she comes to India.