Suu Kyi defiant in ‘Burma’ row


Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday brushed off orders from Myanmar’s government to stop calling the country “Burma”, a name widely used by democracy campaigners to defy the former junta. The old regime changed the country’s official name some two decades ago to Myanmar, saying “Burma” was a relic from British colonial rule and implied the diverse land belonged only to the Burman ethnic majority. The country’s election commission castigated Suu Kyi last week for repeatedly using the term during recent overseas trips, accusing her and the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) of flouting the constitution. But a defiant Suu Kyi told reporters in Yangon that she would call the country whatever she liked. “In a democratic nation, things should be done after viewing the desire of the people,” she said, adding the army had renamed the country without consultation. “Freedom of speech… and the right to speak one’s mind freely doesn’t insult anyone. This is also about democratic principles and policy. “So I assume that I can use whatever I want to use as I believe in democracy.”