Aung San Suu Kyi India visit aimed at strengthening Delhi-Yangon ties


Chairperson of The National League for Democracy of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi (C) is presented with a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat,The Memorial to Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi on November 14, 2012.



Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in New Delhi on her first trip to India in 40 years and met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday.

The Myanmar pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate spent her formative years in the 1960s in India, according to the Press Trust of India.

Her mother, Khin Kyi, represented Myanmar — then known as Burma — as its ambassador to India and Nepal.

Suu Kyi, who traveled to India at the invitation of Sonia Gandhi, President of the ruling Indian National Congress, said her visit was an attempt to strengthen ties between the two countries.

According to the Financial Times, the Singh government is trying to "repair a damaged relationship" with Suu Kyi:

New Delhi was once one of her staunchest supporters, but changed tack and sought engagement with the junta in the mid-1990s — a move that the Nobel peace prize winner has acknowledged "saddened" her.

Singh visited Myanmar in May, when Suu Kyi spoke of the need for greater exchanges between the people of the two countries.

During her six-day stay, she will also meet Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. 

She is scheduled to deliver the prestigious Nehru Memorial Lecture, honoring the birthday of independent India's first elected leader, Jawaharlal Nehru.

According to the Associated Press, Suu Kyi will also visit her alma mater, Lady Sri Ram College in New Delhi. 

Suu Kyi, chairperson of the National League of Democracy of Myanmar, is on a six-day visit as part of India's engagement with the multi-party polity in Myanmar.