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Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Reforms 'Stalled'


FILE - Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a speech at a rally in Boseinman Stadium in Yangon.

FILE - Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi delivers a speech at a rally in Boseinman Stadium in Yangon.

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says her country's reform process has been stalled for months and warns the United States and others against being overly optimistic.

"In fact, I would like to challenge those who talk so much about reform process, what significant reform steps have been taken within the last 24 months. This is something that the United States should think about very seriously as well," she said.

At a press conference in Yangon Wednesday, Aung San Suu Kyi added that her meetings with President Thein Sein and top generals last week were only a start to a path forward.

"If it was meant to open the way to effective negotiations then, I think we could say it was good thing, but so far, we do not see that it is really opening the way to genuine meaningful negotiations."

The Nobel laureate’s message came a week before the ASEAN regional summit in Myanmar, also known as Burma, with U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders attending.

Since the transition to the civilian government in 2011, Thein Sein’s regime has achieved a measure of democratic progress, from the release of hundreds of political prisoners to allowing Aung San Suu Kyi and her party into parliament through open elections.

Myanmar’s reforms, however, have not been fully accomplished because the parliament is still not free from the military, which controls 25 percent of the parliament by law and can still dissolve the government anytime it wants to do so.

Recently, there have been several rights issues in Myanmar, with at least 16 journalists detained and dozens of activists arrested by the military.

In the case of Aung San Suu Kyi, she cannot run for the election in 2015 because of Myanmar’s military-drafted constitution, which bars anyone with a foreign spouse or child from taking the presidency. Aung San Suu Kyi has an American son and a British son.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Burmese service.

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