Nobel Peace Price winner and democratic activist Aung San Suu Kyi says support from the United States must continue to encourage democratic reforms in Burma, also known as Myanmar.
Suu Kyi addressed a crowd at the University of Louisville Monday morning as part of the school’s McConnell Center lecture series.
She’s on a two-week U.S. visit that’s both a celebration of her recent election to the Burmese parliament, and a political trip to ask for continued support of her country’s democratic reforms.
So far, she’s accepted the Congressional Medal of Honor and has met with President Barack Obama. But she gave a special thanks to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, Monday for being a long-time supporter of hers the past several years.
Suu Kyi said as Burma inches toward democracy, the international community must continue keeping an eye on its progress.
“It is now that we need your support more than ever—your intelligent support. Because you need to be aware of what is going on in Burma, to be able to separate the false from the truth,” she said.
When answering questions from the audience about whether the reforms could see a relapse, Suu Kyi said there’s no such thing as an “irreversible moment.”
Suu Kyi further said that the United States should use her country as a reminder not to take democratic rights for granted.
“What you should learn from us is how valuable your democratic rights are and that together with those rights you have the responsibility to try to preserve them,” she said.
Suu Kyi is calling for the end of U.S. sanctions on Burma to help her country move toward democracy.