Suu Kyi Can Be President: Burma's Leader

Thein Sein: It all 'depends on the will of the people'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2012 6:01 PM CDT
Suu Kyi Can Be President: Burma's Leader
In this April 23, 2012, photo, Myanmar President Thein Sein speaks during a news conference in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News, File)

(Newser) – While Suu Kyi continues her 17-day US tour, Burmese President Thein Sein made his most glowing remarks about her so far—saying she could become Burma's president. "Whether she will become a leader of the nation depends on the will of the people," he said in a BBC interview. "If the people accept her, then I will have to accept her." Suu Kyi spent 15 years under house arrest in Burma for repeatedly criticizing its leaders.

As for Suu Kyi, she received an honorary degree from Nancy Pelosi today at the University of San Francisco, the AP reports. The Nobel Peace Prize winner spoke to the crowd of roughly 5,000—first in Burmese, then English—urging factions in Burma to take greater steps toward peace. Conflicts still roil the Southeast Asian nation, the BBC notes, including a recent eruption of violence between the Buddhist Rakhine people and Muslim Rohingya people. (Read more Aung San Suu Kyi stories.)

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