Myanmar's Suu Kyi to receive France's Légion d'honneur
French foreign minister Alain Juppé will visit Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar next week and make her a Commander in the National Order of the Légion d'honneur, the country’s highest honour.
The news was announced on Friday in a phone call by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Suu Kyi.
Meanwhile, Myanmar’s army-backed regime has released a number of prominent dissidents, journalists and a former premier under a major prisoner amnesty.
Those freed included members of the ’88 Generation Students” group which is synonymous with the democratic struggle in Myanmar and was at the forefront of a failed 1988 uprising in which thousands died.
The mass pardon was hailed by Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party as a “positive sign”.
Press freedom group, Reporters Without Borders said it was pleased to see the government continuing to advance in the right direction and urged the release of all other detained journalists.
“Once all the detainees have been freed, we hope the government will also address the need for reforms and the need to end censorship in Burma,” it said in a statement.
It remains unclear whether the move will be enough to prompt a relaxation of US and EU sanctions on the regime.
US President Barack Obama in December offered Myanmar a “new phase” in relation if introduces reforms.