Myanmar Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was sworn in as a member of parliament on Wednesday.
The sworn-ceremony was held in the capital Naypyidaw where the pro-democracy leader stood to read the oath together with 33 other members of her National League for Democracy party elected to the lower house in April this year.
The international community welcomed her election as a step towards democracy.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinoton says its only eighteen months ago that Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was under house arrest.
“Today, the pro-democracy leader and several other members of the National League for Democracy have taken their newly won seats in Burma’s parliament.” -Ms. Clinton
For the first time in the country’s history, Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her party will have a role and voice in government, she stressed.
Ms. Clinton sent her congratulations to these pro-democracy leaders, other newly elected Members of Parliament, and the hundreds of thousands of voters for their courage and commitment to achieving a more representative and responsive government.
Ms. Clinton notes that President Thein Sein and his government have also taken important strides toward democracy and national reconciliation.
She says Aung San Suu Kyi’s winning seat in the parliamen is an important moment for Burma’s future.
A genuine transition toward multi-party democracy leading to general elections in 2015 will help build a more prosperous society, Ms. Clinton added.
She encourages all political parties, civil society representatives and ethnic minority leaders to work together to address challenges and seize new opportunities for a more democratic, free, peaceful, and prosperous future.
As Burma pursues the road for reform, development and democracy, the United States of America expressed commitment to support Burma’s democratic reforms.
Earlier this year, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said from the beginning of Obama Administration, the US government has pursued a policy of engagement to support human rights and reform in Burma.
United States maintain extensive, targeted sanctions against Burmese regime. Sanctions also targeted against senior leaders of the Burmese government and military, their immediate family members, their key supporters, and others who abuse human rights.
Obama Administration continues to show commitment to promote democracy and human rights in Burma and on key recent developments in Burma including the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, the 2010 elections, and the formation of a government headed by former top regime general and now President Thein Sein.
The United States is currently pursuing parallel and complementary tracks in a full-scale effort to advance progress on core concerns of the United States and the international community, including the unconditional release of all political prisoners, respect for human rights, and an inclusive dialogue with the political opposition and ethnic groups that would lead to national reconciliation.
The National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party, won in Burma’s general elections in 1990, but the country’s military junta refused to relinquish its power. The opposition leader and Nobel laureate has been detained at her residence in Burma’s capital, Rangoon, since May 2003 when the convoy in which she was riding was attacked by a junta-backed militia.
Although Burma’s military leaders have kept Aung San Suu Kyi incommunicado, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, “her message of non-violence and democracy continues to inspire those who yearn for freedom in Burma and throughout the world.”
Aung San Suu Kyi is among more than 1,100 Burmese who have been imprisoned by the military regime for the peaceful expression of their political views.