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Tiffany Hsiung – WNN Breaking

Nobel Peace Prize Laurate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi give a speech

In Yangon, Burma/Myanmar last year, Nobel Peace Laureate and Burma’s elected democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gives a speech to supporters during the 21st anniversary memorial service for a NLD – National League for Democracy member on January 17, 2012. Image: Htoo Tay Zar

(WNN) Naypyidaw, BURMA/MYANMAR, ASIA: Working on issues that may help bring the ethnic diversity of Burma/Myanmar together, Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has released a formal statement directed toward members of Burma’s National League for Democracy party saying that she wants to be personally involved in peace talks between the Burmese ethnic rights KIO – Kachin Independence Organization and the Burmese government.

Many ethnic Kachin in the northern Burma region have suffered under unstable political conditions and a reigniting of civil war on June 9, 2011 that caused widespread displacement in the region. The conflict between the Kachin Independence Army and the Burmese Army broke out in full force over the Burmese government’s involvement in bringing Chinese and foreign interests, along with  Chinese troops, to the convergence of the Mali River and the N’Mai River in the Irrawaddy river region during the now discontinued development of a large dam under the Myit Sone hydropower plant project.

Environmental rights activists have been saying that the creation of the dam in the northern Burmese region would flood 47 villages and cause massive deforestation.

“I have been criticized by some people for not taking part in peace talks regarding the Kachin conflict,” said the Nobel Peace Laureate to the Associated Press yesterday. “I have always said I am willing to take part in the peace process if the concerned parties wanted me to,” continued Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi made her statement to the National League for Democracy through a video release that was created to coincide with the February 12 public and celebrated Burmese holiday called Union Day, which honors the 1947 attempt to bring independence for the first time to ethnics in the region who lived under British rule for over a century. This agreement was brought to the table and signed in 1947 by Suu Kyi’s father General Bogyoke Aung San, who was assassinated six months before the actual finalization of the agreement was ever made possible.

Criticized by some international human rights groups for not taking enough of a strong stand against ethnic violence in the Kachin state, Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy are now making up for lost time as the KIO and the Burmese government are scheduled to set together at the peace table soon on February 20, 2013.

Last August Suu Kyi wrote a letter of personal appeal speaking to the issues of environmental loss if the Myit Sone hydropower project with development of the dam was allowed to continue. She also spoke to the impacts the development on the Irrawaddy river would make on the ethnic Kachin.

“Since the commencement of the Myit Sone project, the perception, long held by the Kachin people, that successive Burmese governments have neglected their interests has deepened,” said Suu Kyi. “While recognizing that large sums of money have already been spent en the realization of the project, we would urge that in the interests of both national and international harmony, concerned parties should reassess the scheme and cooperate to find solutions that would prevent undesirable consequences and thus allay the fears of all who are anxious to protect the Irrawaddy,” she continued.

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A very recent visit and talk by Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi before community leaders in Hawaii, U.S., outlines Suu Kyi’s feelings about current conditions for democracy, peace and human rights in Burma. This January 29, 2013 youtube video is a production of the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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