White House Press Pool: “lured by the mirage of success?”

Subject: Pool Report # 9

Sending this for AFP’s Stephen Collinson


Pool Report # 9 


Yangon, Myanmar


The president and Aung San Suu Kyi delivered their remarks on the balcony of her lakeside villa which has been spruced up since she was freed from house arrest in late 2010 , with a new roof and freshly painted walls. The garden is well kept with flowers and shrubs.


   Suu Kyi sounded a note of caution over Myanmar’s rapid political reforms:


   “The most difficult time in any transition is when we think that success is in sight,” she said, standing next to the president. “We have to be very careful that we’re not lured by the mirage of success.”


   The president said:


   “Our goal is to to sustain the momentum for democratization”

   “That includes building credible government institutions, establishing rule of law, ending ethnic conflicts and ensuring that the people of this country have access to greater education, healthcare and economic opportunity,” he said.

   “I want to make a pledge to the people of this country that I am confident we can keep, and that is if we see continued progress towards reform our bilateral ties will grow stronger and we will do everything we can to help ensure success.”


“I want to thank you, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, for your extraordinary hospitality and grace, the power of your example, which has been inspiration to people all around the world, including myself. Clearly you will be playing a key role in your country’s future for many years to come as Burma seeks the freedom and the prosperity and the dignity that not only the people of this country deserve but people all around the world deserve.”


“Thank you for your inspiring message.”


While the president and Suu Kyi spoke, in another sign of the times, the presidential limousine sat parked by her house. Outside huge crowds could be heard chanting “Obama, freedom.”


The president later left Suu Kyi’s house for the short journey to the nearby US embassy where he addressed diplomatic staff. He was later due to head to Yangon University to deliver a major speech.


Stephen Collinson

AFP White House Correspondent,