Suu Kyi willing to help ethnic peace process

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Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center, receives a Buddha Statue from her supporter on her arrival at Yangon International Airport in Yangon, Myanmar in lateJanuary before she accepted a peace award. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

YANGON, Myanmar— Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has offered to help negotiate an end to conflicts between the government and the country’s ethnic minority groups, a challenge the country’s president called essential to building democracy.

Suu Kyi made the offer in a videotaped speech Tuesday to members of her National League for Democracy party on Union Day, which marks when her late father Gen. Aung San signed a 1947 agreement with leaders of the country’s ethnic minorities to gain independence from Britain together.

Last week, the government and Kachin ethnic rebels held talks on ways to avoid military confrontations after battling almost daily since late December. Suu Kyi had drawn criticism from the Kachin for not pushing the government to end its attacks.

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