NOBEL PRIZE WINNER and Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has advised the Irish government not to “look the other way” in relation to human rights abuses carried out by trading partners like China.
Responding to questions about Ireland’s blossoming trade relationship with China – a country routinely criticised over its human rights record – Suu Kyi said: “You shouldn’t look the other way… you must always ask what benefits your trading is giving to the host nation”.
The pro-democracy leader made an historic visit to Dublin on Monday, during which she thanked the Irish people for the support they had shown her during her years under house arrest in Burma.
“I have been welcomed to Ireland as though I belong to you,” she told the crowds at Grand Canal Square. “You have stood by us in our times of trouble. These troubles are not yet all over and I am confident that you will continue to stand with us.”
At one point Wu’er Kaixi, one of the student leaders from the China’s Tiananmen Square massacre, addressed the audience about his hopes for freedom for all people in China, Burma, and elsewhere. During his speech, Suu Kyi became noticeably emotional.
Questioned about her reaction during an interview with Newstalk Breakfast broadcast this morning, Suu Kyi underlined the need for all governments to ensure their investments as “democracy-friendly” as possible.
Continuing her European tour, Suu Kyi will address both British Houses of Parliament later today – a rare honour usually only accorded to heads of state.