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TIME magazine: Interview with Daw A

Subject: TIME magazine: Interview with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Attn: Burma Newsreaders
Re: TIME magazine: Interview with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

On her third full day of freedom, Aung San Suu Kyi met with TIME Hong Kong
bureau chief Sandra Burton and photographer Robin Moyer at her lakeside home
in Rangoon, where she has lived under house arrest for the past six years.
Excerpts from the interview:

TIME: Did you have any inkling that you were about to be released on July 10?

Suu Kyi: Not until my [military liaison man] came to see me earlier that day
and told me that Colonel Kyaw Win would be coming. I knew then that it was
for my release. 

TIME: How did you feel when that happened?

Suu Kyi: Quite frankly, I did not know what to feel. I said to myself,
''Well, I'm free," but then I have always felt free. I did not really hanker
for the great big world outside. I felt that the important thing was to be
able to live inside myself and feel free.

TIME: Did you fear that the military might place conditions on your release? 

Suu Kyi: I was sure they would not impose any restrictions, because they knew
I would not accept them. But I must admit that I like people in the Burmese
army because I tend to associate them with my father. That's why I don't feel
any ill will against them, whatever they do. Some people might criticize this
attitude and call it a weakness, but that is the truth, and I am very frank. 

TIME: How has your life changed in these past few days? 

Suu Kyi: Things are so rushed now. I do wish I had more time to listen to the
Voice of America and the BBC. That was the only way I could keep in touch
with the outside world before, and it became very important to me. 

TIME: Your life will grow even more hectic when you get a telephone. 

Suu Kyi: [Laughing] I know. I will have one that I can unplug.

TIME: Six years ago, you expressed doubt that the junta would ever keep its
promise to transfer power to a civilian government. 

Suu Kyi: I hope they have changed. I hope that in the past six years they
realized that what we want is change for the good of the nation, and that by
cooperating they too may be able to bring that about.

TIME: What made you believe you could work with the junta? 

Suu Kyi: I have always felt I could work with the army. It was they who felt
they could not work with me. I have not changed in any way at all about this
matter. I always thought we could talk things over and work together for the
good of the nation.

TIME: How should the international community react? 

Suu Kyi: The authorities should be given credit for releasing me, but I think
people should wait a bit to see what follows. There is no use rushing in and
thinking everything is going to be hunky-dory from now on. 

TIME: Do you fear that people's expectations may rise too high?

Suu Kyi: I don't want them to expect too much because people who expect too
much do too little. If they want something, they have got to work for it, and
there is a lot of work to do.

TIME: Last year you called the current constitutional convention a "sham."
Have your changed your mind?

Suu Kyi: I still have some reservations about the National Convention. At the
moment we on the side of democracy want to work for reconciliation. Because
of that we don't want to say anything that is provocative unless we think it
is necessary.

TIME: In an interview with TIME last September, General Khin Nyunt said he
did not think you were interested in a role in the drafting of a new

Suu Kyi: Perhaps he misunderstood me. In fact, I would not have spoken about
that without first consulting my colleagues, but that does not mean that I
was not interested. 

TIME: When you travel around Rangoon, you will notice a lot of new hotels and
other signs of economic growth. Do you see a role for yourself and your party
in helping to foster the development that the State Law and Order Restoration
Council has begun? 

Suu Kyi: One of the first things I have found is that the inflation rate is
absolutely incredible. That's what people are talking about all the time. So
I would like to know what exactly the recent economic developments have done
to the country. If I sincerely think they are not to the benefit of the
country, I will speak out, but if I think they are doing any good, then I
shall say so. It is the privileged people who go to the hotels, so I want to
know what all this is doing for the ordinary people.

TIME: Some of the government officials who have been watching and listening
to you this week say you are more mature than when they arrested you six
years ago. 

Suu Kyi: How very kind of them! I hope they too have matured! 

Copyright 1995 Time Inc. All rights reserved.
Transmitted: 95-07-19 18:54:19 EDT (i5072412)