It is interesting that Aung San Suu Kyi received an outpouring of sympathy on her 60th birthday [World in Brief, June 19-20]. Some have called her the Nelson Mandela of Asia.

But I think there is no comparison between Mr. Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Nelson Mandela has done a great service to his country as well as to mankind by making possible the rebirth of South Africa, free of apartheid. He came to terms with the government to find a practical solution, which is why he has been regarded as a great statesman.

If Aung San Suu Kyi were pragmatic, she would know what is best for the people of Myanmar. Advocating economic sanctions that cause hardship for her countrymen and asking the National League for Democracy to boycott the national convention, which is instrumental for the process of national reconciliation, are not solutions for Myanmar.

Standing up to a military government and defying the status quo is much admired in the West. However, in our part of the world, we need leaders who are visionary enough to guide our nations forward in the context of our national circumstances. If Aung San Suu Kyi could fulfill this task successfully, she would find a great place in the history of Myanmar.



Embassy of the Union of Myanmar