Aung San Suu Kyi gets rare praise from Myanmar state paper


Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi speaks during the 21st World Economic Forum on East Asia in bangkok on June 1, 2012.



Myanmar's state-run press has praised Aung San Suu Kyi for working with President Thein Sein for the country's benefit in what the Washington Post called an unprecedented event.

The New Light of Myanmar newspaper used an opinion piece Tuesday, titled "To the leaders who are the hope of Myanmar," to point out that the future of the country "depends completely" on such cooperation, Voice of America reported.

The piece was widely interpreted as a reaction to tensions over the opposition leader's trip to Thailand last week — her first foreign trip in 24 years.

The New York Times cited the government-owned paper, which is published by the Ministry of Information, as expressing concerns that the “hard-won trust” between Sein and the Nobel laureate could "vanish."

It also "appeared to criticize" Suu Kyi for comments made to investors at a business conference in Bangkok last week urging caution over investing in Myanmar.

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The Post even wrote that Thein Sein, who had been due to address the same World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia as Suu Kyi, canceled owing to "irritation" that he had been upstaged by Suu Kyi.

Myanmar Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said at the time that the president's decision not to attend the WEF had nothing to do with Thailand's deciion to host Suu Kyi.

However, both sides reportedly denied that there were tensions, the Post wrote, quoting Nyan Win, a spokesman for the National League for Democracy, as saying Tuesday: “I don’t think Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Thailand has adversely affected the relationship between the president and her."

A spokesman for Thein Sein reportedly said he did not believe the leaders' relationship had been affected owing to an “understanding” between them.

The Associated Press noted that Suu Kyi and her party had endorsed reforms initiated by Thein Sein.

Regardless, foreign media agree it's a far cry from the situation during Suu Kyi's house arrest and even since her release in 2010, when the state press gave her little of no attention.

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