Myanmar’s Suu Kyi says national reconciliation ‘unavoidable’
Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, left, meets with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana or presidential palace on Wednesday. | AP
SINGAPORE: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Wednesday that national reconciliation is “unavoidably important” for the country to attract investment, but gave no specifics on how her government intends to resolve violence and discrimination against the country’s minority Rohingya Muslim community.
“We do not want our country to be unstable. But we’ve had a long history of disunity within our nation,” Suu Kyi said, addressing senior business representatives at a Singapore dialogue. “So national reconciliation is unavoidably important for us. It’s not a matter of choice. It’s unavoidable.”
“We have to achieve peace and national reconciliation that our country may be able to progress, and that those who wish to invest in our country may find the right amount of confidence,” she said.
Accounts of military attacks against the Rohingya community caused thousands of people to march in protest in Bangladesh last week. Smaller protests occurred in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
Suu Kyi is on an official visit to Singapore that lasts three days, ending Friday. On her schedule is a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
As she courted investment, Suu Kyi painted a picture of a Myanmar that’s eager for economic progress.
“Prosperity will help our people to understand that united, we progress together,” she said. “If we wish to be a strong and prosperous nation, we have to learn to give, to compromise, to engage in dialogue.”
In 2015, Singapore was Myanmar’s third-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade of 3.5 billion Singapore dollars ($5 billion). The city-state was also Myanmar’s largest investor, with investments in the last fiscal year amounting to $4.3 billion.