Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi has indicated that she is no longer opposed to tourism to her country.
She is now saying that the development of the tourism sector can be encouraged, so long as it is part of private and not government enterprise, and that it might actually help draw more world-wide attention to the oppression of the Burmese people by the military junta. She made her views known through a member of her political party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).
In 2002, when interviewed by the BBC, she commented on tourism to her country, saying: “We have not yet come to the point where we encourage people to come to Burma as tourists.”
News of her change in position is being welcomed by the tourism industry, but has left campaigners against the military dictatorship unmoved.
The director of TransIndus Travel, Amrit Singh, who was raised in Burma, commented: “I am thrilled and heartened. Three years ago I heard through a senior member of the NLD, that the Lady [as Aung San Suu Kyi is known to the Burmese] was reconsidering her view, and I am delighted that she has. The call to boycott Burma has had no impact on the military’s stance. It has only managed to isolate the ordinary people by encouraging the world to look away.”