Czech-Burmese relations are getting closer. That was the main message of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate turned State Counsellor of Myanmar, during her visit to Prague this week. Leading Czech dignitaries have hosted the Burmese head of government with both sides stressing the aim to establish closer business ties as top of the agenda.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Industry and Trade Minister Karel
Havlíček could visit Myanmar this fall. Mr Havlíček made the statement
at the Czech-Burmese economic forum, which takes place on the occasion of
Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Prague.
Mrs Suu Kyi, who is Maynmar’s de facto leader, is in the Czech Republic
for a three-day official visit. She is accompanied by her minister
country’s minister of investments and economic relations and minister of
Speaking at the economic forum, Mr Babiš has highlighted the growing economic cooperation between the two countries. He also said that while Czech exports to Asia fell by 23 per cent last year, exports from Myanmar to the Czech Republic increased by 66 per cent.
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, who is in the Czech Republic on a three-day
visit, met for talks with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in Prague on Monday.
The talks focused on developing mutual relations, economic cooperation,
Czech development projects in Myanmar and human rights issues.
On Tuesday Ms. Suu Kyi – who is Myanmar's de facto leader – will meet Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček and President Miloš Zeman. Her country’s minister of investments and economic relations and minister of international cooperation are travelling with her.
Burma’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is set to visit the Czech
Republic in early June.
During her four-day stay, she is due to meet Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO), who extended the invitation, as well as President Miloš Zeman, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček and representatives of Parliament.
Ms Suu Kyi was revered as a principled human rights and pro-democracy activist. Václav Havel championed her as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. She visited Prague in 2013 for the Forum 2000 Conference, which is tied to Havel’s legacy.
She has since come under harsh criticism for refusing to condemn an army crackdown that led to the exodus of Rohingya Muslims into neighbouring Bangladesh and atrocities against them.
Nobel Peace Prize winner, Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi has postponed
her planned visit to the Czech Republic, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on
its web page.
The ministry said Aung San Suu Kyi had been forced to change her plans amid growing tension over alleged human rights abuses by the Burmese military against the minority Rohingya people.
Aung San Suu Kyi last visited the Czech Republic in 2013 to attend the Forum 2,000 conference launched by the former Czech president Vaclav Havel.
Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is scheduled to visit Prague
next month, the news site Aktuálně.cz reported. She was invited by the
Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, and should hold talks with both him
and President Miloš Zeman. She is also due to speak at a human rights
conference organised by the Václav Havel Library.
However, the Nobel Peace Prize winner cancelled a visit to the United Nations in New York recently following criticism of the treatment of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar and her Czech hosts fear the Prague trip may not in the end take place, Aktuálně.cz said.
For several years now, a group of Czech enthusiasts have been involved in developing and supporting a skateboarding community in Burma. The country, now transforming from a former military dictatorship, has been going through dynamic changes, giving rise to various subcultures, including skateboarding. I spoke to Jiří Pasz, one of the founders of the Initiative Czech on Board with Myanmar about the local skateboarding scene, but I first asked him how he got the idea to launch this project:
On Friday, it became clear that Burma’s National League for Democracy, headed by Nobel prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, had secured a parliamentary majority and is heading for a landslide victory that will allow it to select the president. But the election victory has not totally sidelined the former military rulers. Chris Johnstone talked with Igor Blaževič who has just returned to Prague after several years helping the political opposition prepare for power.
Speaking at the opening of the Forum 2000 conference on Sunday Burmese
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyii paid tribute to the late Czech
president Vaclav Havel saying he had refused a 1991 nomination for the
Nobel Peace Prize and proposed her for the honour instead. In her speech,
she voiced thanks for the support the late Mr Havel expressed for the
Burmese opposition at the time of the rule of the military junta in the
country, saying he had maintained in the Burmese opposition a flame of
during its darkest period. Although the two never met in person the late
Czech president and the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyii were
On Monday Aung San Suu Kyii was also welcomed at Prague Castle by President Miloš Zeman and will later meet with the country’s Foreign Minister Jan Kohout.
The 17th Forum 2000 conference is underway in Prague, bringing together over a hundred intellectuals, former and current politicians and other distinguished figures from around the world. This year’s Forum is focused on two subjects: the legacy of its founder, the late Václav Havel, and how countries can make the transition to democracy. Among the speakers are the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama, the Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, and Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.