Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi wants India to play a “more active” role in democratisation of her country.
The 65-year-old Suu Kyi in an interview to PTI also said that India must live up to the reputation of being the biggest democracy in the world and not be dictated by its commercial interests in Myanmar.
Commenting on India’s growing economic-driven engagement with the military regime, the opposition leader said she was not against India’s engagement with Than Shwe’s ruling military regime but wanted India to play an active role in democratisation of Myanmar and have parleys with her National league for Democracy party.
“We would like India to play a more active role in trying to help in the process of democratisation of Burma and I would like the Indian government to engage more with us... who are working more with democracy,” the Nobel peace laureate said in the interview on phone from Yangon.
Speaking on India’s commercial interests in Myanmar, Ms. Suu Kyi said “India’s role in previous decades has been aided firmly by its reputation as the biggest democracy and it has taken pride in this, but, perhaps, more attention has turned towards the commercial side,” she said.
Ms. Suu Kyi said she expected the Indian government “to look beyond this commercial kind of view when it comes to Myanmar.”
Ms. Suu Kyi, who lived in India in the 1980s, was released in Yangon on November 13 after spending more than seven consecutive years in detention.
Once a strong supporter of Suu Kyi, India began engaging the Myanmar’s military ruler in the mid-1990s as security, energy and strategic needs appeared to override concerns over democracy and human rights.
India is eager to boost its investment in gas and hydro-electricity projects in Myanmar and is eyeing oil and gas fields and fears losing out to China in the race for strategic space in Asia. It also counted on the military junta’s help to counter ethnic separatists operating along their remote eastern common border.