Myanmar's Suu Kyi holds no grudges against jailers

Suu Kyi met with the press after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande on the first day of her four-day visit to France to close out a European tour that has taken her to Switzerland, Norway, Ireland and Britain.

Bienvenue à Paris: Aung San Suu Kyi and French President Francois Hollande meet at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been a world symbol of courage and hope for facing down Myanmar’s military regime, which ruled for 49 years until last year. She is now helping the country usher in what many hope is a transition to democracy. And pragmatism seems to be her watchword.

“I certainly do not bear any grudges against the military regime,” she said. “I never think of them as those people who placed me under house arrest for so many years.

This is not the way we bring about national reconciliation. I think of them as people with whom I would like to work in order to bring reform to our country,” she added.

Suu Kyi said she wants “democracy-friendly, human rights-friendly” investments that protect the environment of her country, which she refers to by its colonial name, Burma. However, she added, “I do not want to be shackled by the past.” 

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