Suu Kyi appeals for UK support
Aung San Suu Kyi has appealed to Britain "as friend and an equal" to support the people of Burma in their drive for democracy.
Delivering a historic address to a joint session of both Houses of Parliament, the Nobel peace laureate said she was seeking practical help to address the problems still besetting her country.
In particular, she said she hoped the UK could help rebuild the education system while providing new investment for the future.
"I am here in part to ask for practical help, help as a friend and an equal, in support of the reforms which can bring better lives, greater opportunities, to the people of Burma who have been for so long deprived of their rights and their place in the world," she said.
"My country stands at the start of a journey towards, I hope, a better future. So many hills remain to be climbed, chasms to be bridged, obstacles to be breached. Our own determination can get us so far. The support of the people of Britain and of peoples around the world can get us so much further."
Ms Suu Kyi, who received a standing ovation from MPs and peers in a packed Westminster Hall, said the key to reform was the establishment of a strong parliamentary institution.
She said that after 49 years of direct military rule, it would take time for the country's fledgling parliament to find its feet and its voice. She said she had spent only a "matter of minutes" in the Burmese parliament so far, and had found the atmosphere "rather formal".
"There is certainly no heckling. I would wish that over time perhaps we will reflect the liveliness and relative informality of Westminster." To laughter, Ms Suu Kyi went on: "I am not unaware of the saying that more tears have been shed over wishes granted than wishes denied. Nevertheless, it is when Burma has its own satisfactory equivalent of Prime Minister's Questions that we will be able to say that parliamentary democracy has truly come of age."
Ms Suu Kyi said she hoped Britain could play a particular role in developing Burmese education, which was currently "too narrow" and needed reform. British businesses could also help the reform process in Burma through "democracy-friendly investment".
"By this I mean investment that prioritises transparency, accountability, workers' rights and environmental sustainability," she said.