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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        29 January 2011

Suu Kyi appeals for investment, support

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Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called for investment in her country, which she says has been "left behind".

In an audio address to the World Economic Forum, Ms Suu Kyi said the 55 million people in Burma yearned to be a part of the global community.

Burma had "already missed so many opportunities because of political conflicts", she said. But she said potential investors should "put a premium on respect for the law".

Ms. Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest for seven years until November, said that despite her isolation, she had followed the global response to the economic crisis by listening to radio broadcasts.

She said the response had been "strong and swift" but that "much still remains to be done". "Economic policies linked to human development and capacity building are the best path to the achievement of stability in a democratic transition," the Nobel laureate said.

"I would like to appeal to all those present... to promote national reconciliation, genuine democratisation, human development and economic growth in Burma."

Earlier on Friday, Burma's highest court rejected a move by My Suu Kyi, whose 1990 election victory was ignored by the military junta, to have her NLD party reinstated after it was dissolved for boycotting last year's election.

The Supreme Court ruled that the NLD's case had no legal basis.

Ms Suu Kyi's lawyer, Nyan Win, told the BBC that only the chief justice could now change the ruling and that there was nothing else the NLD could do.

But he said: "Our existence and our legality does not change because of this court decision. Our party still exists. As Aung San Suu Kyi said, what really matters is the support of the people."

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04 January 2011
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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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