As Obama stood next to the world's most recognized democracy icon, he mispronounced her name repeatedly.
Ever gracious, Suu Kyi did not correct her American guest for calling her Aung YAN Suu Kyi multiple times during his statement to reporters after their meeting.
Proper pronunciation for the Nobel laureate's name is Ahng Sahn Soo Chee.The meeting came after Obama met with Myanmar's reformist new President Thein Sein – a name he also botched.
As the two addressed the media, Obama called his counterpart "President Sein," an awkward, slightly affectionate reference that would make most Burmese cringe.
Note to presidential advisers: For future rounds of diplomacy, the president of Myanmar is President Thein Sein – on first and second reference.
It is rather embarrassing, as well as sad, that the leader of the free world can’t even pronounce the name of the most famous human rights activist on the planet. Or that he is so quick to appease Burma’s authoritarian regime by calling it “Myanmar”. Barack Obama’s gaffes demonstrate not only a marked lack of attention to detail and a high degree of amateurishness on the part of the White House, but also a disturbing willingness to curry favour with unsavoury regimes. Hardly a good omen for Obama’s second term.