Q: At present, the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the Burmese kyat is falling in Burma. The value of the currencies of our neighboring countries is also falling, as the value of the kyat has slightly risen. But it is very difficult to make money in Burma, and at the same time it is so easy to spend it. Could you tell us if you discussed solutions to the people’s economic problems when you met with President U Thein Sein last week? Could you tell us what economic opportunities exist for the youth of the future?
A: You may already know that discussions regarding the people’s economic problems were conducted at workshops that were held recently. For a country that is faced with many economic problems, a considerable amount of hard work is required to achieve progress and development. But with enthusiastic efforts from the people and assistance from the world community, successful changes can be made. It is very important for young people like you to be involved in these efforts. That is why you should not be discouraged. I would like you to get involved with energy and zeal should opportunities to help emerge.
Q: I heard that President U Thein Sein recently made a speech in which he said that Burmese living abroad can now return to Burma. If those Burmese who are living abroad do return to Burma, what will you and the NLD be able to do for them? Also, what message would you like to give to those Burmese people who cannot come back to Burma yet?
A: I do not clearly understand your question. Are you asking about refugees returning to Burma and starting their lives again? The NLD is not the only organization that is helping those refugees. Other organizations, the government, and private individuals who want to help others are all involved in these efforts. As for those who cannot return to Burma yet, this is probably because they have good reasons for not doing so. It is not for me to say whether they should return or not. This is a decision that they will have to make for themselves.
Q: Can you tell us what you think of the fact that permission was given by the Press Scrutiny Board for the People’s Era magazine to print one of the features you wrote?
A: In order for democratic institutions in a country to be strong and stable, there must be freedom of expression and publishing. That is why I welcome the fact that permission has been given to publish not only my feature but also some of the other writings that were not allowed to be published in the past.
Broadcast on Sept. 30, 2011.