Myanmar adopts more conciliatory stance towards its
‘Arab-style uprising not the answer to Myanmar’s problems’
Myanmar: democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi said that an
Arab-style uprising is not the answer to Myanmar’s problems, and
welcomed tentative signs of political change under the new nominally
civilian government. Suu Kyi who spent years as a prisoner in her own
home with no telephone or Internet access,also said she is now free but
too busy to use Facebook and Twitter.
“I just haven’t had the time,” the Nobel Peace Prize winner told AFP
in an interview at her party offices in Yangon.
“If I were to tweet and so on it would take up so much of my time. I
have to confess we are a bit snowed under because paying off a debt of
work that has accumulated over seven years is not done in a hurry,” she
Soon after her release in November, Suu Kyi had expressed a desire to
use social networking sites. But she said that for now, her party would
make do with websites set up by its supporters overseas.
Internet connections are notoriously slow in Myanmar, whose rulers
also have a history of blocking critical websites and jailing online
Social networking sites were used by anti-government demonstrators to
thwart censorship during pro-democracy revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.
And during a failed monk-led uprising in Myanmar in 2007, citizens
used the web to leak extensive accounts and video to the outside world,
prompting the regime to block Internet access.
Her party won a 1990 election but was never allowed to take office.
It boycotted an election held last year, the first in two decades, and
as a result it was delisted as a political party by the regime.
Recently, however, the regime has adopted a more conciliatory stance
towards its opponents, including Suu Kyi, who met President Thein Sein
last month. Internet users in army-dominated Myanmar during the week
said they were able to see previously blocked media websites, including
the Burmese-language version of the BBC, but doubts remained about
whether the move would last.
The country’s Internet legislation has long been among the world’s
most repressive, according to the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders.