Statement on George Soros’s Visit to Burma

NEW YORK—George Soros and members of his family visited Burma from December 26, 2011, to January 3, 2012. Soros visited Burma in his capacity as a philanthropist and supporter of open society around the world.

During his visit, Soros met with a range of people involved in the reform process, including representatives of civil society and President U Thein Sein and his key advisors.

Prior tzo and following his meeting with the president, Soros met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Soros and Aung San Suu Kyi held a wide-ranging discussion about the reform process underway in Burma.

“My foundations have been supporting the democracy movement for 20 years, but this was my first meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi. I have been and remain very much guided by her vision in my involvement in Burma,” Soros said.

The Burma Project of Soros’s Open Society Foundations since 1994 has worked to increase international awareness of conditions in Burma and to assist marginalized communities, including ethnic minorities, women, and youth.

As a result of his visit Soros agreed to establish an official presence in Burma to help the country in making the transition from a closed to a more open society.

“While I am greatly encouraged by signs of political opening in Burma, the reforms are in early days. There is a big gap between the good will at the top and conditions on the ground,” Soros said.

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The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities in more than 70 countries, the Open Society Foundations support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.