Suu Kyi coming to Delhi on Diwali day
In terms of strict regimen of diplomatic protocol, iconic pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not be on an “official visit” when she sets foot on Indian soil on Diwali, Nov 13.
But New Delhi expectedly will be rolling out the red carpet for the Burmese leader who spent several of her formative years in the city. It will be a six-day visit. It comes after a gap of several decades, incarcerated as she was by the ruling military junta in Burma for long periods for her unceasing and unrelenting demand for democracy in her impoverished, secretive country.
While her engagement details are still being fine-tuned, so far, among the leaders she is expected to call on are vice-president Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
Spokesperson of the MEA Syed Akbaruddin said in a statement said that Ms Suu Kyi’s visit “would be part of our ongoing engagement with the democratic and multi-party polity in Burma... (and) provide opportunity to exchange views on all matters of mutual interest with a view to building upon the positive momentum to India-Burma relations”.
Ms Suu Kyi led her party, the National League for Democracy, to a historic win in the parliamentary by-elections held in April 2012 by bagging 43 seats. Though, her party did exceedingly well in the by-polls, the Burmese Parliament remains under the control of the ruling party which has the backing of the military junta.
The upcoming visit has been built around the invite that was extended to Ms Suu Kyi to deliver the Nehru Memorial lecture by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on behalf of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
-Asian Tribune -