Sunday, July 5, 2009

Suu Kyi party blames junta for UN's failed mision

(Jakarta Post) -The U.N. secretary-general's visit to military-ruled Myanmar was a failure but it was not his fault, the opposition party of Aung San Suu Kyi said Sunday.

The failure was because of "a lack of willingness and genuine goodwill on the part of the government," said Nyan Win, spokesman for Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon ended a two-day mission to Myanmar on Saturday, saying he was "deeply disappointed" that the country's military ruler had rejected his requests to visit Suu Kyi in jail

"Mr. Ban's visit was not successful, as he was unable to achieve his main goals and was not allowed to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi," said Nyan Win. "It is understandable that the secretary-general was disappointed."

"Daw" is a term of respect used for older women.

In two days of rare talks with Senior Gen. Than Shwe, the U.N. chief urged the reclusive 76-year-old autocrat to release Suu Kyi and an estimated 2,100 other political prisoners and embark on democratic reforms ahead of elections scheduled for next year.

The visit achieved no immediate results.

The 64-year-old Suu Kyi, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has been under house arrest for 14 of the past 20 years. Her opposition party won national elections in 1990, but Myanmar's generals refused to relinquish power.

In May, Suu Kyi was charged with violating the terms of her house arrest when an uninvited American man swam secretly to hr lakeside home and stayed for two days. Suu Kyi's trial was set to resume after a month-long delay on Friday, the same day the U.N. chief arrived. But the court met for a brief session to adjourn until July 10.

"I pressed as hard as I could" to see Suu Kyi, Ban told reporters Saturday after meeting with Than Shwe. "I had hoped that he would agree to my request, but it is regrettable that he did not."

Myanmar has been ruled by a military government since 1962.

READ MORE---> Suu Kyi party blames junta for UN's failed mision...

UN chief criticises Burma over Suu Kyi visit

(SMH) -UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has delivered a stern rebuke to Burma's junta after the country's military ruler refused to let him meet detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ban said on Saturday the snub by top general Than Shwe was a missed opportunity for the hardline regime to show its commitment to fostering democracy and to holding free and fair elections as promised in 2010.

But he denied that he was ending his two-day visit empty-handed, saying that the reclusive junta chief had not rejected any of his other proposals for reform including the release of political prisoners.

"I am deeply disappointed that Senior General Than Shwe refused my request for a visit to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi," Ban told reporters in Bangkok after flying out of Rangoon.

He said being able to visit her would have been an "important symbol of the government's willingness to embark on the kind of meaningful engagement that will be essential if the elections of 2010 are to be seen as credible".

"I believe the government of Myanmar (Burma) failed to take a unique opportunity to show its commitment for a new era of political openness."

The refusal will spur critics of Ban's visit to Burma, which had been considered diplomatically risky because of its timing during Aung San Suu Kyi's trial on charges of breaching the terms of her house arrest.

The 64-year-old was transferred from her lakeside home to Rangoon's notorious Insein prison in May to face trial after an American man swam uninvited to the property. She faces up to five years in jail if convicted.

However, Ban said his visit had allowed him to convey "very frankly" the international community's concerns to Than Shwe over the course of their two meetings in the bunker-like capital of Naypyidaw.

"If you use the word reject, it's only my request to meet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. For all my proposals, I believe they will seriously consider, they have not rejected any of what I proposed," Ban said.

Rights groups had warned that his visit would be considered a major failure unless he managed to win the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained for most of the last two decades.

Ban was kept waiting overnight in Burma to hear whether Than Shwe would allow him to see Aung San Suu Kyi.

Critics have accused the junta of using her trial as an excuse to keep Aung San Suu Kyi locked up for the polls. They also say the elections are a sham designed to entrench the generals' power.

In a rare public speech to diplomats and aid workers in the commercial hub Rangoon, Ban earlier outlined his vision for a democratic Burma.

"I am here today to say: Myanmar, you are not alone. We want to work with you for a united, peaceful, prosperous, democratic and modern Myanmar," Ban said.

The UN chief also visited areas affected by deadly Cyclone Nargis in 2008. He made his first visit to the country after the disaster, when he managed to persuade the regime to accept international aid.

Aung San Suu Kyi appeared in court in Rangoon on Friday but the trial was adjourned for a week because the judges had not received an earlier judgment barring two defence witnesses.

The case has sparked international outrage, with US President Barack Obama calling it a "show trial" and a host of world leaders and celebrities calling for her release.

In London, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown raised the prospect on Saturday of further sanctions against Burma following Ban's apparently fruitless visit.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest or in detention for 13 of the last 19 years since the junta refused to recognise her National League for Democracy's landslide victory in Burma's last elections, in 1990.

Ban has faced recent criticism for his softly-softly approach to the job of secretary general, but diplomats say he had hoped his quiet brand of diplomacy would work with Burma's generals.

Burma has been ruled by the military since 1962.

READ MORE---> UN chief criticises Burma over Suu Kyi visit...

China urges calm after North Korea strikes

( -CHINA has urged calm after North Korea test-fired seven missiles off its east coast in an act of defiance apparently timed for the US Independence Day holiday.

"China ... hopes that all sides will maintain calm and restraint, and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

The launch of the ballistic missiles -- which the North is banned from firing under UN resolutions -- yesterday further fuelled tensions after the reclusive state conducted a nuclear test in May.

On Thursday the North test-fired four short-range missiles with a range of 120km into the Sea of Japan.

The US, Britain, France, Japan and Australia have condemned the latest launches, which come after a series of bellicose moves by North Korea this year.

US and South Korean officials believe ailing leader Kim Jong-Il, 67, is staging a show of strength to bolster his authority as he tries to put in place a succession plan involving his youngest son, Kim Jong-Un.

A long-range rocket launch on April 5 was followed by a nuclear test -- the second since 2006 -- on May 25.

In the days after its atomic test, Pyongyang fired six short-range missiles, renounced the truce in force on the Korean peninsula for half a century and threatened possible attacks on Seoul.

China, as North Korea's main ally, has long favoured cautious diplomacy with its neighbour.

But it supported a United Nations resolution, adopted in response to North Korea's nuclear test, calling for beefed up inspections of air, sea and land shipments going to and from North Korea, and an expanded arms embargo.

From correspondents in Beijing
Agence France-Presse

READ MORE---> China urges calm after North Korea strikes...

Victory over KNU, new order on Thai-Burma border

by Brian McCartan

Mae Sot, Thailand (Mizzima) - The victory of the Burmese Army and its proxy, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), in attacks on bases of the Karen National Union (KNU) last month, puts the regime in firm control of a major portion of its border with Thailand for the first time in 60 years. Success brings with it a whole new order of forces along the border.

Burmese and DKBA forces took the border camps of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the KNU, after a month-long battle in June. The fighting was relatively light with many of the 200 Burmese and DKBA casualties the result of landmines. Fighting, the threat of landmines and fear of being taken as porters by the attackers resulted in over 3,500 Karen villagers fleeing their homes to take refuge on the Thai side of the border.

The Burmese regime and the DKBA have big plans for the border now that it is under their control. The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has long aimed to establish several economic zones along the stretch of the border from Myawaddy north to the confluence of the Salween and Moei Rivers. One of these special economic zones is slated for construction on the outskirts of Myawaddy and another to the east of the township capital of Hlaing Bwe.

Past Thai governments have given their verbal support for these plans, although little money has of yet been put into them. Now that the area is in firmer control and the threat from the KNLA reduced, the economic zone plans may be dusted off again. Burma hopes to entice Thai investment and develop an otherwise economically poor area, while Thailand sees the economic zones as a way of using cheap Burmese labour without having to deal with a large influx of migrant workers. At one point, the area around Hlaing Bwe was also seen as a potential repatriation point for Karen refugees in the Mae La refugee camp.

A component of the DKBA’s acceptance of the junta’s border guard programme is that the DKBA will be allowed to keep, and possibly even expand, its economic activities. Although details of the concessions are still unclear, notes from internal DKBA meetings in May and June seen by Mizzima, indicate that the DKBA is moving some of its tax gates and setting up new units as a part of a major expansion. Certain officers, including Colonel Maw Tho who is already heavily involved in legal and black market trade with Thailand from his base in Myawaddy, will be reassigned to specifically economic activities.

A greatly expanded DKBA taking control of a large portion of the border is likely to make Thai security officials nervous. Following the fall of the KNU headquarters at Manerplaw in January 1995, DKBA troops carried out a reign of terror along the border, burning refugee camps, kidnapping and sometimes killing Karen and Thai civilians, looting Thai shops along the border and even attacking Thai army and police forces. Although the attacks largely stopped in 1998, occasional incursions have taken place since.

This year DKBA incursions increased as it made itself felt along the border. In January 2009, DKBA troops burned down field huts, stole livestock and looted houses along the border in Umphang district of Tak province. During and immediately following the recent attacks on the KNLA’s 7th Brigade, Karen sources say DKBA troops crossed the border several times to demand rations for their troops and to eat and drink in local shops around Mae Salit.

An ambush on June 26 on the Moei River that killed five DKBA soldiers including Colonel San Pyone and wounded another 20 has many Karen worried about possible retaliatory attacks. San Pyone is widely believed to have been the leader and triggerman in the assassination of KNU General Secretary Mahn Sha La Phan on Valentine’s Day last year. The KNLA military officers claim it was not a revenge attack because they have no troops in the area. This leaves open the possibility of involvement of the KNU/KNLA Peace Council, another splinter Karen group, the SPDC or Thai security forces. Whoever carried out the attack, the incident shows that despite greater DKBA and government control, stability is far from assured.

The transformation of the DKBA into a border guard under the central command of the Burmese Army may bring some stability, even if it costs the regime a scapegoat for cross-border incursions. The SPDC has been careful in the past to blame all cross-border attacks on the DKBA and say that it has very little influence on the group’s actions. Recent fighting against the KNLA’s 7th Brigade was described in the state-run media as Karen-on-Karen fighting. With the DKBA’s transformation into a border guard force within the Burmese Army, this pretext will no longer be possible.

One area Thai security forces will be keen to keep a watch on is the effect greater territorial control and legitimization as a unit of the Burmese military will have on the DKBA’s drug trafficking activities. Karen military sources allege the DKBA operates several amphetamine, or yaba, laboratories in areas near the border. While DKBA production and trafficking activities are not at the same level as groups such as the United Wa State Army (UWSA) in Shan State, Thai narcotics officials and opposition sources say the DKBA moves both yaba and heroin through its border camps near Myawaddy and Three Pagodas Pass. The group’s transformation into a border guard unit would make the military regime directly complicit in any continued drug activities.

Recent media reports describing the KNU as all but finished following the loss of its border camps last month are rather premature. KNLA sources say that they intend to continue to operate as guerrilla units in north central Karen State. The loss of the central border region, however, will make it harder for the KNU to communicate and supply its units as well as arrange supplies for villagers and internally displaced villagers that it cares for. The KNLA still has the bulk of its forces in northern Karen State as wells as in parts of Pegu Division and Mon State as well as maintains forces in areas of southern Karen State and Tenasserim Division.

Within Karen State itself, firmer control by the DKBA and Burmese government means that many Karen who still sympathize with the aims of the KNU will now be forced to work with the new rulers. Human rights monitors in the area for several years have said the greater DKBA presence has made their work much more dangerous. DKBA threats of retribution have made many villagers afraid to speak out about abuses.

A KNU source says that greater DKBA control will have little effect on Karen representation in the 2010 elections. The DKBA is different from other ethnic insurgent groups in that it has no political wing. Minutes of a May 7 meeting of DKBA commanders indicate that the DKBA has been told they may participate in politics, but in order to do so, DKBA members, or any other Karen, must either form a new political party or contest the election as an individual. KNU source, however, say it is irrelevant since the SPDC has already decided who the winning candidates are.

The KNU’s position in central Karen State has certainly been greatly weakened by the loss of its border camps last month. Whether firmer government and DKBA control of the area will translate into greater peace and development for the local population is far from clear. Fighting with the KNU in this area may be almost over, but new border tensions may only be beginning.

READ MORE---> Victory over KNU, new order on Thai-Burma border...

With No Clear Path Out of a Diplomatic Thicket, a Push to Redraw the Map

Memo From Myanmar


YANGON (NYT), Myanmar — Some people from this country despair at the rigid choreography of what might be called the Myanmar diplomatic minuet. United Nations interlocutors come and go, declaring that the moment is at hand for the military junta to release the endlessly prosecuted Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, but the generals do not budge.

Over the weekend, it was Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, who, despite the weight of his personal intervention, failed to secure so much as a chat with Asia’s most famous political prisoner, much less any concessions.

The fact that Mr. Ban emerged empty-handed after his two-day visit that ended Saturday provides the strongest evidence yet that a different approach is overdue, analysts of Myanmar said.

Rather than tying negotiations, not to mention sanctions, to the treatment of just one figure, say policy analysts, humanitarian workers and exiles, the world should engage the junta on a broad range of economic, humanitarian and ethnic issues that will return electoral politics to its rightful place as one concern among many. They admit that borders on heresy, considering Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi’s virtual beatification in the West, but they consider it a shift she would readily accept given her lifelong commitment to solving Myanmar’s problems.

“People are angry with the U.N. because how many missions have we seen over the past 20 years jetting in and out,” said Aung Zaw, who went into exile after the bloody 1988 uprising and is now the Thailand-based editor of Irrawaddy magazine. “Have they produced any progress?”

Mr. Ban took a stab at articulating a new policy toward Myanmar, formerly Burma, in an unusual speech on Saturday to the humanitarian and diplomatic community. He called on the government to respect human rights, address the dire humanitarian needs in the wake of Cyclone Nargis that killed about 130,000 people in May 2008 and try to join the rest of Asia’s economic tigers.

But for the bulk of his visit, Mr. Ban focused on pushing for free and fair elections, and the release of Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi and some 2,000 other political prisoners.

What is missing from this approach, analysts note, is a vision of Myanmar as seen by Senior Gen. Than Shwe and the other four generals who together make up the ruling State Peace and Development Council. General Than Shwe views himself as having shut down a failed socialist system; opened up the country to foreign gas companies that discovered reserves worth billions of dollars; signed cease-fires with some 20 ethnic groups in guerrilla wars that lasted since independence from Britain in 1948; and pushed through a new Constitution that enshrines military control of the country behind a civilian leadership.

Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi’s sweeping national following makes her a threat to this plan. But analysts said they believed that as military men, the generals worry far more about insurgent armies financed by narco-trafficking, including the 20,000-strong United Wa State Army in the north and the Kachin Independence Army, with 10,000 men.

Senior United Nations officials are dismissive about addressing the armed conflicts, saying their General Assembly mandate covers only political matters. But critics argue that they are being too timid.

“I think we need a more general view of the problems in the country,” said Thant Myint-U, the author of a Burmese history titled “The River of Lost Footsteps” and a former United Nations official. “Some new agreement between the Burmese Army and its armed opponents is essential for new elections. The opponents with the guns are in many ways more important to them than the opponents who are locked up.”

Western attempts at isolation combined with the endless domestic civil war have made the generals comfortable in their siege mentality, analysts said. A prime way to bust through that would be humanitarian aid, though analysts say the United Nations has failed to convince donor nations of its importance. In Mr. Ban’s “Five Plus One” pillars for Myanmar, humanitarian aid comes after various aspects of political freedom and economic development.

Given Myanmar’s pariah status, countries have balked at providing aid for recovery and reconstruction. Emergency relief after Cyclone Nargis came quickly, but donors have pledged only about $100 million of the more than $600 million sought for the next phase, said Catherine Bragg, the deputy United Nations humanitarian coordinator.

A report last fall by the International Crisis Group said that aid should be seen not only as a means to alleviate suffering, “but also as a potential means of opening up a closed country, improving governance and empowering people to take control of their own lives.”

It has worked that way at least in the Irrawaddy Delta — the area hit hardest by the cyclone — where villagers have adopted a modicum of self-governance through being consulted by foreign or local organizations on issues ranging from divvying up donated tractors to revamping school curriculums.

As a result, the junta has grown wary, clamping down on visas for foreign aid workers. There is a backlog of more than 200, and 100 recently granted were just one-month extensions, Ms. Bragg said.

While some advocacy groups support lifting sanctions, they want it done in a way that helps economically vulnerable groups like textile workers and farmers. “It shouldn’t be about automatically repealing the sanctions and giving a lot of money to the regime — that would be folly,” said David Mathieson, the Myanmar researcher for Human Rights Watch.

United Nations members are deeply divided over Myanmar, with important trading partners like Russia and China protective of the regime and other Asian neighbors often mute. The United States is reviewing its own policy of economic and other sanctions. At his confirmation hearings last month, Kurt M. Campbell, the highest State Department official for East Asia, said that the review had been enormously complicated by the fact that Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi was again on trial, but that Washington was looking for “a more constructive approach.”

The hurdle, of course, is that the country’s star dissident has developed a worldwide following. “Aung San Suu Kyi is the 800-pound gorilla in Burma,” said Maureen Aung-Thwin of the International Crisis Group. “Everything that happens — elections, the political process, reconciliation — is inexorably linked to her.”

READ MORE---> With No Clear Path Out of a Diplomatic Thicket, a Push to Redraw the Map...

Ban Ki-Moon's remarks on Burma

by Mizzima News

Yangon, 4 July 2009


Distinguished guests and colleagues

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is my second visit to Myanmar in just over a year. Both visits have been at critical times for the country’s future.

My first visit was in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis. This devastating natural disaster, which took so many lives and created so much hardship, touched hearts across the globe. In Myanmar’s moment of need, the world responded generously.

I want to personally thank everyone here today for your remarkable contributions to the relief and recovery effort.

You have saved lives, rejuvenated communities and made it possible for many thousands of people to reclaim their livelihoods. You have helped Myanmar to overcome adversity. It is important that this work continues.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I felt the tragedy of Cyclone Nargis deeply -- as a fellow Asian and as Secretary-General .

I am Asia’s second Secretary-General. The first was Myanmar's U Thant. I revere his memory. I also recall his wise words.

U Thant said: “The worth of the individual human being is the most unique and precious of all our assets and must be the beginning and end of all our efforts. Governments, systems, ideologies and institutions come and go, but humanity remains.”

This is why I have returned.

As Secretary-General, I attach the highest importance to helping the people of this country to achieve their legitimate aspirations.

The United Nations works for people – their rights, their well-being, their dignity. It is not an option. It is our responsibility.

I have come to show the unequivocal shared commitment of the United Nations to the people of Myanmar.

I am here today to say: Myanmar – you are not alone.

We want to work with you for a united, peaceful, prosperous, democratic and modern Myanmar.

We want to help you rise from poverty.

We want to work with you so your country can take its place as a respected and responsible member of the international community.

We want to help you achieve national reconciliation, durable peace and sustainable development.

But, let me emphasize:

neither peace nor development can thrive without democracy and respect for human rights
Kyae zoo tin bar tae.

Myanmar is no exception.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The challenges are many. But they are not insurmountable.

We know from experience that securing Myanmar’s peaceful, democratic and prosperous future is a complex process.

None of Myanmar’s challenges can be solved on their own. Peace, development and human rights are closely inter-related.

Failure to address them with equal attention will risk undermining the prospects for democracy, durable peace and prosperity.

However, we also know that where there is a genuine will for dialogue and reconciliation, all obstacles can be overcome.

The question today is this:
how much longer can Myanmar afford to wait for national reconciliation, democratic transition and full respect for human rights?
The cost of delay will be counted in wasted lives, lost opportunities and prolonged isolation from the international community.

Let me be clear: all the people of Myanmar must work in the national interest.

I said this yesterday when I met with representatives of Myanmar’s registered political parties and with those armed groups that have chosen to observe a cease-fire. I encouraged them respectively to honour their commitments to the democratic process and peace.

Nonetheless, the primary responsibility lies with the Government to move the country towards its stated goals of national reconciliation and democracy.

Failure to do so will prevent the people of Myanmar from realizing their full potential.

Failure to do so will deny the people of Myanmar their right to live in dignity and to pursue better standards of life in larger freedom.

These principles lie at the core of the United Nations Charter, whose opening words are “We the peoples”.

The founding Constitution of independent Myanmar echoes these noble words. We must work together to ensure that Myanmar’s future embodies these principles too.

With this in mind, I bring three messages.

First, respect for human dignity is the precondition for peace and development everywhere.

Myanmar was one of the first United Nations Member States to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It subscribed early on to the consensus that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is indispensable to political, economic and social progress.

Unfortunately, that commitment has not been matched in deed. Myanmar’s human rights record remains a matter of grave concern.

The Government has articulated its goals as stability, national reconciliation and democracy.

The upcoming election –the first in twenty years – must be inclusive, participatory and transparent if it is to be credible.

Myanmar’s way forward must be rooted in respect for human rights.

This is why I say that all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, should be released without delay.

When I met General Than Shwe yesterday and today, I asked to visit Ms. Suu Kyi. I am deeply disappointed that he refused.

I believe the government of Myanmar has lost a unique opportunity to show its commitment to a new era of political openness.

Allowing a visit to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would have been an important symbol of the government’s willingness to embark on the kind of meaningful engagement that will be essential if the elections in 2010 are to be seen as credible.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi must be allowed to participate in the political process without further delay.

Indeed, all the citizens of Myanmar must be given the opportunity to contribute fully to the future of this country.

National reconciliation cannot be complete without the free and active participation of all who seek to contribute.

The country must embark on a process of genuine dialogue that includes all concerned parties, all ethnic groups and all minorities.

People must be free to debate and to engage in political dialogue, and they must have free access to the information that will help them participate meaningfully in the democratic process.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Any transition is difficult. Myanmar has already undergone transitions from sovereign kingdom, to occupied colony, and now independent State.

This history carries a twin legacy of armed conflict and political deadlock, including recent painful events: the repression of demonstrators in 1988, the cancellation of the 1990 election results, and the clampdown on peaceful dissent that continues to this day.

At the same time, there have been some positive efforts that should be recognized.

Although still fragile, the cease-fire agreements between the Government and armed groups have reduced the level of conflict. The United Nations has wide-ranging experience in making such gains irreversible.

Sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity are legitimate concerns for any government.

We contend that opening and broadening the political space is the best way to ensure that each group and each individual becomes part of the greater collective project.

The military, all political parties, ethnic minority groups, civil society, and indeed every son and daughter of Myanmar has a role to play in this country’s transition.

Only mutual compromise, respect and understanding can lay the foundations for durable peace, national reconciliation and democracy.

My second message is on addressing the humanitarian needs of Myanmar’s people.

I am glad I have been able to return to see the progress made in the Irrawaddy Delta. The loss of some 130,000 people was tragic, but the rebuilding I saw today was impressive. (JEG's: ??? who for? the new settlers? or the real victims?)

The tragedy showed the resilience of the people of Myanmar. It also demonstrated that people throughout the world care deeply about Myanmar and its people.

Above all, the response to Cyclone Nargis proved the value of engagement over isolation.

The unprecedented cooperation between Myanmar, the United Nations and ASEAN through the Tripartite Core Group, with the support of the donor community, has demonstrated that humanitarian imperatives and the principles of sovereignty do not conflict.

Humanitarian assistance -- in Myanmar as elsewhere -- should never be held hostage to political considerations. We can and must work together to ensure access to humanitarian and development assistance to all those in Myanmar who need it.

This brings me to my third message. It is time for Myanmar to unleash its economic potential.

Myanmar sits in the middle of Asia’s economic miracle. Harnessing Myanmar to the rapid advances taking place around it is the surest way to raise living standards.

I welcome the Government’s policy of opening up to outside trade and investment, and its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, control HIV, combat human trafficking and curtail opium production.

But the reality is that millions continue to live in poverty. Standards of living in Myanmar remain among the lowest in Asia.

The people of Myanmar need jobs, they need food security and they need access to health care.

We must work to ensure that the people of Myanmar can benefit from and contribute to the regional and global economy.

We must recognize that the region and the world have much to gain from a stable, prosperous and democratic Myanmar. We must work together for that goal.

The Government of Myanmar must seize the moment.

It must take advantage of the opportunities that the international community is prepared to offer to the people of Myanmar.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I came here as a friend.

My duty is to uphold the ideals and principles of the United Nations Charter.

My role is to encourage all of you – the Government, political parties, ethnic groups, civil society – to move forward together as one people and one nation.

Nothing is insurmountable or impossible when the people’s interest is placed above divisions.

The region and the world are changing fast. Myanmar only stands to gain from engagement -- and from embarking on its own change.

The Government of Myanmar has repeatedly stated that cooperation with the United Nations is the cornerstone of the country’s foreign policy.
We ask it to match deeds with words.

The more Myanmar works in partnership with the United Nations to respond to its people’s needs and aspirations, the more it affirms its sovereignty. (JEG's: this is something to think about... sovereignty through partnership... read the hidden message)

Similarly it is incumbent on the international community as whole to work together to help Myanmar meet our shared goals: a united, peaceful, prosperous and democratic future, with full respect for the human rights of all the country’s people.

Kyae zoo tin bar tae.

READ MORE---> Ban Ki-Moon's remarks on Burma...

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