Another name for BurmaOther name for Burma
another is Baramagyi (Barua).
Let us not be too hopeful about Burma.
Myanmar's undemocratic symbol says in an interviewer with Nirupama Subramanian that she looks forward to the reconstruction of relations between the two states. Today, on her first trip to India in almost fivety years, she arrived where she lived her defining years. A few and a half you' re going to India, where you were raised, where you went to university, where you went to university.
So what do you expect from this trip, personally and for Myanmar? Politically, I want to build stronger relationships between the people of our nations. It is my feeling that in recent years we may have drifted apart as nations because India has taken a different path than we have, or rather we have altered our path.
I would like to see a stronger link between our two nations because I always felt we had a particular link - India and Burma - because of our own collective past and because the rulers of our independent movements were so united. Were you surprised that India chose a different course?
I think, sometimes I think rather as frustration, sorry is the term I would use because I have a close bond with India through my boyfriends, and because of the fellowship that prevailed between my dad and Jawaharlal Nehru, because of the proximity that prevailed between the states.
What should the current policy between you and India look like? In my opinion, it would be much simpler to clarify formal relationships between the two states if we were to make headway towards it.
Mr President, I can appreciate that India has had some difficulty in voting between the opponents and the regime in office, and this happens very often in terms of world affairs. However, establishing Burma as a democratic country, as I would like, would alleviate the difficulties of choice between the two sides - not the inconsequences.
How can India help Myanmar in this phase of policy change? Of course, at the present time, everyone is mainly interested in Burma because of its capital outlay. We must also bear in mind that we are only at the beginning of the path to democratisation, and as I keep saying, it is a path that we must follow for ourselves.
In no way was the 2008 Constitution a straightforward path to democratisation. We must do all this ourselves, and I think this must be acknowledged by India and the outside world - that we are not on the path to it.
There is still a window of opportunity to go down the path to democratisation. I would, however, like India to draw our eye to the need to strengthen our regional governments. At the same token, however, to be conscious of the fact that it is not a replacement for it. There' s a trend to see India and China as competitors for influential Burma?
However, if you look back, we can take to our hearts the fact that Burma always had good relationships with both sides after gaining sovereignty, even though China was inflexibly communist and India was a functioning democratic state. We were a Democratic people ourselves. If you can get divorced from a partner, you cannot move away from your neighbourhood.
The people of the lands, they stay. If we can build a true relationship between our people, the outlook is good for us. As you said, you were not too hopeful and that the 2008 Constitution was not a straightforward path to democratisation? There are so many things, but broadly said, the 2008 constitution gives too much force to the army.
If it deems it necessary, the army can take power; and of course 25 percent of all meetings, both nationally and regionally, are composed of non-elected candidates. I am not overly concerned because it gives us the possibility of making contact with members of the army; but of course it is hardly what one would call a democracy.
Then, in fact, the local authorities have no true powers. If we are to be on the path to democratisation by 2015, I believe that some of the most important stages need to be changed before 2015. Will you also amend the constitutional provisions that prevent you from standing for president?
Yes, not because it prevents me from standing for president, but I do not think it is right that any constitution was drafted with one man in the back of my skull. You want to be president of Myanmar? My political group wins because it has the right to do so, and in this regard I would be willing to take the presidency.
It is not so much because I want to be president of a nation, but because I want the president of that nation to be chosen by the will of the population. We need strength to make a difference. When we want to make the kind of changes we want, we need force, not force for the power's sake, but force for the possibility of making the changes we want to make.
I have insisted for years, and the National League for Democracy too, that we must do something about the fragile Bangladesh frontier, because it will one of these days cause serious difficulties. When the army took power in 1988, they named themselves the State law and order restoration council, so justice and order is an term we use with great care.
So how hard was it for you to make the switch from a global heroes and symbol of liberty and democrat to a political figure who has to make a trade-off? It is as if I were some kind of symbol or on a base, but they seem to have forgotten that my political group and I have been repeatedly criticized - of course by the army regime - but also by other organizations, by some of our member states, because, as they said, we were not willing to make concessions.
We have always been willing to make compromises, and we have always proposed to make compromises all along the line. You have always spoken of being faithful to the principle, does it annoy you that you may have to renounce the principle of compromises in the daily work of policy? There is no reason to forego the principle of compromises, especially in my case, because our principle is not intransigent.
We have always been willing to make compromises. Very very few know how often we have tried to make compromises with the army or, if they know, they have overlooked it. You think the army is entirely on this trial? If you say do not be too upbeat, are you afraid that it depends on an individual's willingness to be President Thein?
Indeed, the president is very different from the army. It is the army and the law enforcement is the law enforcement. That is what I mean by the fact that the Constitution is hardly democracy. Until we know that the army is firmly behind the reforms, because the President certainly does not stand for the army, we cannot say that this is inexorable.
The test, I think, would be their willingness to consider amending the non-democratic parts of the Constitution. What recognition would you give President Thein for his part in this whole trial? Was it Burma or Myanmar? I' ll tell you why I use Burma. Myanmar has been known as Burma since the war.
All of a sudden, after the 1988 junta rule, just like that, out of the blue without you being able to say goodbye to the Burmese population, they proclaimed that Burma would from now on be formally known as Myanmar in English, and it would be Myanmar in the UN and so on.
This is because Myanmar related to all the nations of that land, while Burma is firstly a collective name and secondly had to do only with the Burmese population. First of all, I am against changing the name of a nation without referring to the will of the nation, without the politeness of asking the nation what they might think.
Secondly, it is not the case that Myanmar means all the people of Burma. It' s just the literal name for Burma, I think, that is the ethnical Burmese[use]. Third, this deal of the nickname of colonialism, that it is a name imparted by Spanish imperialism, I believe this is the kind of common sense that relies on the absence of self-confidence.
Looking to India, looking to China, looking to Japan.