Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Opposition Leaders Expect Obama to Stick to Burma Policy

The Irrawaddy News

Burmese opposition leaders expect US support for the pro-democracy movement to remain strong after President-elect Barack Obama takes office on Tuesday. Some said, however, the Burmese people themselves remained the most potent force for political change.

Nyan Win, spokesman for the National League for Democracy (NLD), told The Irrawaddy: “We believe that the US will keep up its support for human rights and the democracy movement in Burma.”

An ethnic Arakanese leader in Rangoon, Aye Tha Aung, chairman of the Arakan League for Democracy, said he didn’t expect greater support for political change in Burma. “The most important force for change in Burma are the Burmese people, opposition groups and ethnic leaders,” he said.

International pressure on the Burmese regime was still needed, however, he added.

Ludu Sein Win, a veteran Burmese journalist in Rangoon, said nothing more than condemnation of the regime could be expected from the Obama administration.

“I want to urge the Burmese people: Don’t rely on Obama and [UN Secretary-General] Ban Ki-moon,” Sein Win said. “We must rely on ourselves.”

Sanctions alone were not enough to bring about political change in Burma, Sein Win said. He thought that sanctions had only a small impact and were insufficient to bring down the regime.

Bo Kyi, joint secretary of the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), said the Obama administration should maintain sanctions against the Burmese junta and its cronies.

Burma would not be a priority issue, however, in view of such immediate challenges as the conflict between Israel and Hamas and the US economic crisis.

Bo Kyi said Obama should try and persuade China and leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations to work on a solution of the Burma question. “We also want him to try to find out common ground in cooperation with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.”

Bo Kyi said he would also like to see the new US administration continue to pressure the Burmese junta to release all political prisoners, including democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to enter into a tripartite dialogue with ethnic leaders and opposition and agree to a constitutional review.

Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too