Tuesday, January 15, 2008

One on One With Burma

Prashanth Parameswaran
January 14, 2008

Under secretary of State R. Nicholas Burns's proposals for action in Burma [op-ed, Jan. 8] are archaic and unconstructive. He said sanctions will continue, but experience suggests they undermine U.S. objectives.

Western sanctions against Rangoon in the 1990s crippled an already ravaged economy, forcing it further into the dangerous nexus of prostitution, drugs and organized crime. The economic vacuum was happily filled by China and others.

Mr. Burns was also far too idealistic on the "broad national dialogue" he wishes to achieve with China, India and ASEAN nations, which have shown no unity on Burma. Unless it is politically pressured or furious at the junta, China is unlikely to change.

The United States must start bilateral negotiations with Burma now.

Source: Washington Post

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