tv [untitled] June 22, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm EDT
truth? >> we have to tell them the truth. if we don't tell them the truth then our country fails and we must succeed in this. we will reach them through the media and through politics and pop culture. where we shouldn't be afraid to get out there and be influencers in pop culture. >> c-span3 mnetworks covered th panels and right online discussions. watch them online at the video library. after serving nearly two decades, leader rush ared to the uk and delivered a speech tuesday. this event includes brief remarks. this is 35 minutes.
[ applause ] >> this hall has hosted many events over the past 900 years, in resent times, only a few international figures, charles degore. nelson mandella, pope benedict the xvi and barack obama have spoken here. today -- will become the first figure and the first woman from abroad and the first citizen from asia to do so. [ applause ]
this is not a break from present without a purpose. the courage of our guest is legendary. she has ridgestood the unimaginable covering of separation from her family and her people. with a dignity fortude and resolve which most of us can barely conceive. her connections with the united kingdom are intimate. she has been the symbol of resistance to a regime which even in an imperfect world has been exception al. i can myself attest this is a cabal guilty of rape as a weapon of war, extra judicial killings,
cupulsory relocation, incarceration of opponents in unspeakable conditions and exconstructie excrutiating torture where fear run ares through society like blood running through veins. one woman has depriprived such two decades. that is why she is with us here this afternoon. [ applause ] however, there is room for
cautious optimism. the recent election to parliament of our guests accompanied by 42 of her colleagues are welcome signs of reform. we hope that ferver and fundamental reform will lead to the freedom democracy and rule of law which we have so long enjoyed and the people of b uflt burma have too long denied. a journey of 1000 miles must start with a single step. we are proud that one such step will be taken in this parliament today. it is my privilege to welcome the consense of a country.
[ applause ] >> lord speaker, mr. speaker, mr. prime minister, my lords and members of the house of commons, thank you for inviting me to speak to you here in this magnificent hall. i'm conscious of the extraordinary nature of this honor. i understand that there was some debate as to whether i would speak here in this blended setting or elsewhere in the setting. i welcome the debate or discussion it is what parliament
is all about. it is my first visit there, and yet, for me it was a familiar scene, not just from television broadcasts but from my own family history. as some of you may be aware. the best known photograph of my father taken shortly before this assassination in 1947 was of him standing in downing street with others with whom i had been discussing burma's transition into independence. he was pictured wearing a large british military issued gray coat. this had been given to him on route to the uk to protect him against the uncustomed code. i and i must say there have been the odd moments this wake when i
have thought of that coat myself. a couple of hours ago i was photographed in the same place where my father was paragraph p photographed and it was raining. my father is a founding member of the burmese army in world war ii. it was his view that democracy was the only political system worthy of an independent nation. general slim who led the ally to the campaign wrote about my father defeat of victory. the meeting came to its end of the war shortly after my father decided that the army should
join forces. general slim said to my father you have only come to ask because we are winning to which my father replied it wouldn't be very good coming to you if you want would it? he saw my father a practical man with whom he could do business. and so i'm 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 bur ma who have been for so long deprived of their rights and their place in the world. as i said yesterday in oxford, my country today stands at the start of the journey i hope of a better future.
so many hills to be climbed and obstockles to be breached. our own determination can get us so far and of peoples around the world can get us so much further. in a speech about change and reform it is appropriate to be in westminster hall because at the heart of this process must be the strong institution, my own country. the british parliament is perhaps the symbol to oppress people around the world and freedom of speech. for us in burma what you take for granted you have had to struggle for long and hard. so many people gave us so much
and gave up everything in the on going struggle for democracy. and we are beginning to see the fruits of our struggle. westminster has long set a shining example of realizing the people's desire to be part of their own legislative process. in burma our parliament is in its own in fancy in march 2011. as with any new institution especially one which goes against the culture and grain of 49 years of direct military rule it will take time to find it's feet and voice. our new native processes which are an improvement of what went before are not as transparent as they might be.
i would like to see us learn from established examples of democracies elsewhere so that we might deepen our own democratic standards over time. perhaps the most critical moment in establishing the process happens before parliament own opens. namely the peoples participation and the free, fair, inclusive process. this year, i participated in my first ever election as a can candida candidate. to this day i have not yet had a chance to vote freely in an election. in 1990 i was allowed to cast an advanced vote while under house arrest. i was disqualified on the grounds that i had received help from foreign quarters.
this amounted to bbc broadcasts that the authorities considered to be in my favor. what struck me most ahead of this year's elections was how quickly people in the constituencies around burma grasped the political process. they understood first hand that the right to vote was not something given to all. they understood that they must take advantage when the opportunity arose. they understood what it meant to have that opportunity taken away from them. during the years that i lived in the yupted kingdom i never had the right to vote myself. but i remember i was always trying to encourage my friends to exercise their right to vote. it was never clear to me whether
they followed their instructions. it was clear to me if they do not regard the rights we have, we will see those rights aroad away. i want to say that politics should be seen nor as something that happens beneath us as something that is integral. after my marriage i appreciapre my husband. i recall during a campaign michael opened the door and when he saw the gentleman deliver the pitch. my wife decides how i should
vote. she is out now why don't you come back later. the canvasser did come back later. maybe i think to see what a wife's vote for her husband looks like. it has been days since i was out on the campaign trail across burma. our elections were held on april the 1st. i'm conscious that this would be another elaborate april fool's joke. it happened to be an april of new hope. it was largely free and fair and i would like to pay tribute to president hussain for this. i have said it is through dialogue and cooperation that political differences can best be resolved and my own
commitment this part remains strong as ever. elections in burma are very different in democracies such as yours. apathy especially among the young is not an issue. often, our biggest challenge was restraining the crowds of university children and school children and flag-waving toddlers who greeted us on the campaign block iing the roads o the length of towns. the day before the elections i passed a hillock which had been occupied by a group of children. the leader stand iing at the
summit holding the nld flag. the passion of the electorate born of hunger for something long denied. following burma's independence in 1948 our system was based on that of the united kingdom. the era became known as the parliamentary era. it speaks of the unfortunate changes which followed. our era which lasted more or less until 1962 could not be said to have been perfect but is certainly the most promising period until now in the short history of independent bur ma. it was at this time that burma was considered the nation most likely to succeed in southeast asia. things did not go entirely into
plan. they often don't into burma and indeed in the rest of the vote. we have the opportunity to re-establish true democracy in burma. it is an opportunity of which we have waited many decades. if we do not get things right this time around and it may be several decades more before a single opportunity arises again. so it is for this reason that i would ask britain as one of the oldest democracies to consider what it can do to help build the sound institutions needed to support the democracy. the reforms taking place are to be welcomed but this cannot be a personal based process without
strong institutions, this process will not be sustainable. our ledge lagislature has much learn about the process and i hope that britain and other democracies can help by sharing your own experiences with us. thus far i have only spent a matter of minutes inside the parliament and i took the oath as a new mp last month. i found the atmosphere rather formal. men are required to wear formal head gear. there is no heckling. i would wish that overtime, we would reflect the liveliness and formality of westminster. i am not unaware of the same over wishes granted and wishes
denied. nevertheless, that will be able to say that democracy has truly come of age. i would like to establish control over the budget. in all of this, what is most important is to empower the people the ingredient of democracy. britain is living proof that it is more important that a constitution should be more accepted by the people. that it is not an external document imposed on them. one of the clearly stated aims of my party for the national league is constitutional reform.
the original constitution was drawn up following the meeting here in london in 1947. this constitution may not have been perfect, but at it's core was a profound understanding of and respect more the aspirations of the people. the current constitution drawn up in 2008 must be amended to incorporate the basic rights and aspirations of burma's nationalities. at this moment, hostilities continue between forces and the state armed forces in the north. the strive has lead to the loss
of innocent lives and the displacements of tens of thousands of helpless citizens. since this speech was drafted i have heard that talks have started between troops of the government. we need to address the problems and we need to develop a culture of political settlement through negotiation and to promote the rule of law that all who live in burma enjoy the benefits of both freedom and security. we need humanitarian support in the north and west of children who have been forced to flee. as the long history of the united kingdom shows clearly, people never lose the need to
supporter i hope you can continue to help our country through targeted and coordinated development and assistance. britain has been up until now the largest donor. it has been the education that i hope can play a major role. we need short-term results so that the people may see it as a tangible positive impact. we need the creation of positive opportunities that are particularly important. longer term, the education system is desperately weak. reform is needed not just of schools and the curriculum and training of teachers but also of our attitude of education which
at present is too narrow and rigid. i hope also that british businesses can play a role in supporting the reform process. through what i have termed democracy friendlyinvestment. investment that arises on a countability and environmental system. i investment in labor intensive sectors if carried out can offer benefits to our people. one test will be whether new players will benefit from the investment coming in. britain played an important role in facilitating a visit next month in the initiative
secretary. i hope this will be the start of many similar initiatives in the months ahead. it is through learn iing about o great british leaders, that i first developed my understanding of pairlimentary democracy. i learned the basics that one accepts the decision of the voters that the governmenting power has gained and relink wish wished. that is the system that goes on and that everyone gets another chance. these things taken for granted here in britain but in 1990, the winner of the elections was never allowed to convene in parliament. i hope that we can leave such
days behind us and as we look forward to the future, it will be the will of the future that will be reflected in burma's changing times. i have been struck throughout my trip by how extraordinary warm hearted the world has been to us. to experience this first hand after so long physically separated from this world has been moving. countries that are distant have showed that they are close to burma in what matters. they are close to aspirations of the people of burma.
we are brought through our shared values and no geographical distance. no barriers can stand in our way. during the years of my house arrest. it is not just the bbc and other broadcasting stations that kept me in touch with the world outside. it was the music of the biographies of men and women of different races and religions that convinced me that i would never be alone in my struggle. the prizes and honors i received were not as huge as the recognition that one isolated person of the rest of the world. during the days in the 1990s, a friend sent me a poem. it gbegins, same old struggle nt
availed. i understand that winston churchhill used this poem as a plea for the united states of america to step in against nazi ge germany. i want to make a point that we can work together to bring the light of democratic values to all peoples in burma and beyond. i would read the final verse. i was advised that the whole thing was far too long. when daylight comes, comes in the light. in front the sun climbs slow, but westward look the land is right. i would like to emphasize in conclusion that this is the most impoan