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Suu Kyi warns against 'reckless optimism' over Myanmar reforms

On an historic trip to Thailand, Myanmar's pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has warned the World Economic Forum against what she called “reckless optimism” concerning her country's recent and rapid reforms.

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Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi speaks during the 21st World Economic Forum on East Asia in bangkok on June 1, 2012. (PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images)

On an historic trip to Thailand, Myanmar's pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has warned an audience at the World Economic Forum against what she called “reckless optimism” concerning her country's recent and rapid reforms, CNN reported.

Suu Kyi — who spent two decades under house arrest and is now on her first trip abroad in 24 years, after winning a seat in parliament in April — received a celebrity's welcome upon her arrival in Bangkok.

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But despite the fanfare, Suu Kyi on Friday cautioned that the reforms, implemented by Myanmar's military-backed civilian government, were not irreversible – and that the parliament of which she is now a member is far from democratic, the BBC reported.

Suu Kyi, 66, called for foreign investment in Myanmar and training for young people to avert an unemployment crisis – but warned against this fueling greater inequality and corruption by the business elite.

Calling the country by its former name, Burma, Suu Kyi described the high proportion of young people without jobs was “a time bomb," Reuters reported.

''There is a great need for basic skills. We need vocational training much more than higher education,'' she said.

''I am here not to tell you what to do but to tell you what we need.''

Following her trip to Thailand, Suu Kyi will return to Myanmar, before traveling to Europe. 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/120601/aung-san-suu-kyi-warns-reckless-optimism-myanmar-reforms