Myanmar's once-hostile state-run press offered rare praise to Aung San Suu
Kyi on Tuesday, lauding the opposition leader for working with President Thein
Sein for the country's benefit.
An opinion piece
published in the New Light of Myanmar
newspaper urged the two to continue the cooperation they began last year. Suu
Kyi and her National League for Democracy party have endorsed reforms initiated
by Thein Sein following decades of repressive military rule.
During her long
years in opposition to Myanmar's
previous military regimes, Suu Kyi was regularly lambasted in the state-owned
dailies as someone akin to a traitor. News coverage of her was negligible, but
commentaries — often appearing under a pseudonym to allow a degree of
deniability on the part of the government — were the usual vehicles for such
article, titled To the leaders who are
the hope of Myanmar,
indicated that it was prompted by reports of tension between Thein Sein and Suu
Kyi after Suu Kyi's attention-getting trip to Thailand last week. Thein Sein had
been scheduled to visit Thailand
at the same time and attend the same international economic forum as Suu Kyi,
but first postponed and later canceled his plans.
speculation that Thein Sein was irritated at being upstaged by Suu Kyi, who
attracted intense media interest in making her first trip abroad in 24 years. Myanmar
officials said the president was busy with affairs at home.
"I don't think
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's visit to Thailand
has adversely affected the relationship between the president and her,"
Nyan Win, a spokesman for the National League for Democracy, said Tuesday.
speeches in Bangkok,
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has expressed her confidence in the president. There
should not be any misunderstanding between them."
Daw is an
honorific used for older women.
The New Light of Myanmar article was
effusive with praise for both political leaders as "leaders more farsighted
and visionary than us."
At the same
time, there were veiled warnings to Suu Kyi that she must follow "the rule
of law." The article appeared to warn her over her party's support of
recent public protests over power shortages and its intention to try to revise
the country's constitution, which it considers undemocratic because its gives
the military a special unelected say in government.
that the future of our people depends on the two leaders, President and Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi, they should cooperate based on mutual trust and
understanding," the 1 1/4-page-long article said.
also like to call on the two leaders to embrace a fine tradition that serves
the sole interest of the people, setting aside differences, egoism and selfishness
that were born together with the independence. Let our dream come true,"
it said. (nvn)