Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday called for democracy with a “more human” face, arguing that technological development and economic wealth were no guarantee of a free and harmonious society. Speaking to students after receiving an honorary doctorate from Seoul National University, the 1991 Nobel peace laureate said it was up to the younger generation to ensure that development brought peace not strife.

“I’d like to talk about democracy with a more human face, with a kinder face, with a more responsible face — a democracy that is really meant to nurture people, not to help us get ahead on the road to material development,” she said.

“The kind of nation I’d like to see my country turn out to be is one which emphasises some of the human values which seem to me to have been lost along the way to economic development.

“Compassion, kindness and harmony" are "absolutely necessary for our world today,” she added.

Her comments are likely to resonate in South Korea where rapid economic development has resulted in a hyper competitive, high-stress society and widening income gaps.

Suu Kyi arrived in Seoul on Monday on her first ever visit to South Korea. As well as meetings with outgoing President Lee Myung-Bak and his successor Park Geun-Hye, she was guest of honour at the opening of the Special Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. — AFP