'India my second home', Myanmar's Suu Kyi tells Modi
Nair Nay Pyi Taw: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met Nobel laureate and Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi who described India as her “second home”, recalling her years spent in the country. It was Modi's first interaction with the 69-year-old pro-democracy icon.
The Prime Minister referred to Suu Kyi as a “symbol of democracy”, referring to the enormous efforts made by her for restoration of democracy in Myanmar long ruled by military junta.
After the meeting, spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin tweeted that the Myanmarese leader had told Modi that India was her “second home”. “India is my second home - Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to @PMOIndia,” Akbaruddin tweeted.
He told reporters that Suu Kyi was effusive in her praise of India.
Suu Kyi told Modi that India was the first country to which she travelled from Burma, which was the old name of Myanmar.
The opposition leader also underscored the importance of stability going hand in hand with democracy. The prime minister also presented Suu Kyi with a special copy of Mahatma Gandhi's commentary on Bhagwad Gita.
Asked by a journalist whether the prime minister had extended an invitation to the Myanmar leader to visit India, the spokesperson said, “the invitation to Aung San Suu Kyi to visit India is always available as no one invites one to her second home”.
The meeting at the Presidential Suite at Park Royal Hotel here where the prime minister is put up, came on a day when he had a string of bilateral meetings with world leaders and participated in the 12th India-ASEAN summit. Myanmar is in the midst of a national debate on whether to allow Suu Kyi, Chairperson and General Secretary of the National League for Democracy, to contest the 2015 parliamentary elections, which she is barred from at present due to a provision in the Constitution.
Suu Kyi last visited India in November, 2012. She spent several years in India during her early days when her mother Daw Khin Yi was Ambassador to India. She studied at Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi and also spent some time as a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla in 1987.