“Democracy is not perfect, but it is the best system so far,” said Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese activist, member of parliament and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate at a Sept. 19 dinner co-hosted by NDI and the International Republican Institute (IRI). “The best thing about democracy is that it allows for non-violent change in power, without hurt to the country.”
Aung San Suu Kyi, a tireless champion for peaceful political reform, spent almost 15 of the last 20 years under house arrest. She took a seat in parliament last May following historic Burmese by-elections in April that marked the first time in more than 20 years that her party, the National League for Democracy, was allowed to compete for public office.
During a 20 minute address to a bipartisan audience of lawmakers, government officials and Burma supporters, she spoke about the NLD’s campaign for parliament and the current state of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the Burmese government. Although she was cautiously optimistic about democratic reforms in Burma, her hopes rested with the Burmese people themselves. “It has not been our practice for the last 50 years to ask questions of those in power,” she said, but people are learning to hold their government accountable and exercise their democratic rights and duties.
Read more and watch the video at NDI, published 20 September 2012.