» 08/17/2009, 00.00
MYANMAR – UNITED STATES
Aung San Suu Kyi “not opposed” to lifting some sanctions
US Senator Jim Webb makes the claim after meeting Myanmar’s opposition leader. Review of policy towards the military junta is needed since it has proven ineffective. US citizen John Yettaw, who caused Nobel Prize laureate’s arrest, has left the country.
Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for democracy (NLD), Myanmar’s main opposition party, is “not opposed” to the partial lifting of sanctions against the country’s military junta, US Senator Jim Webb said today. a few days ago he met both the Nobel Prize laureate in Yangon and junta strongman Than Shwe in Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s administrative capital.
In the past Aung San Suu Kyi openly discouraged foreign investors and governments from reaching economic agreements with the country’s military junta. This time things appear different according to Webb, who on several occasions criticised US sanctions for failing to meet their goal.
“With respect to Aung San Suu Kyi, I don't want to take the risk of misrepresenting her views but I would say to you it was my clear impression from her that she is not opposed to lifting some sanctions,” Webb said. “I can say it was my impression from listening to her in the conversation that there were some areas that she would be willing to look at”.
In his stay in Myanmar Senator Webb also met General Than Shwe, head of the country’s military regime. This meeting was the highest between a Myanmar and a US official.
Following Aung San Suu Kyi’s sentence to 18 months of house arrest, the European Union and the United States renewed their sanctions against Myanmar.
However, some senior US politicians, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have said a review was needed in light of their inefficacy. Critics of the existing policy insist that a new approach towards Myanmar was needed
Lastly US citizen John Yettaw, 54, was deported yesterday. Currently, he is being treated in a Thai hospital.
A court in Myanmar had sentenced him to seven years of hard labour for entering Aung San Suu Kyi’s home.
Aung San Suu Kyi meets with UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari
The pro-democracy leader leaves house arrest for an hour-long talk with the representative of the United Nations. Suu Kyi stresses that the visit of the UN secretary general is "conditioned" on the liberation of political prisoners. From the United Nations, a plan of economic assistance in exchange for concessions on matters of democracy and human rights.
Western sanctions touch the regime, not the people, trade union leader says
NCUB General Secretary U Maung Maung explains that the embargo imposed by the US and the EU does affect the civilian population. Most people survive thanks to border smuggling. The junta’s decision to close the border is the cause of poverty. For Aung San Suu Kyi, the economy is crucial to improving human rights.
Burmese opposition now open to changes to Western sanctions
Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD want targeted foreign investments to help the population. They appeal to the United States and the European Union to discuss the issue “in the interests of democracy”. Sanctions are seen as an issue on which the opposition leader can talk to foreign governments.
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Aung San Suu Kyi holds out hand to military junta to end sanctions
In a personal letter to Generalissimo Than Shwe, the Nobel Prize laureate calls for greater cooperation between the government and the pro-democracy opposition. The UN secretary general meets Myanmar prime minister in new York for UN General Assembly. The US says it is willing to work with Myanmar.
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