Burma Democratic Concern has the firm determination to carry on doing until the democracy restore in Burma.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Burma Insight:03 Jun 2010

Yangon, June 3 -- Before winding up his three-day visit to Myanmar, US Senator John McCain this morning gave a press briefing touching on his standpoints on a wide-range of subjects ranging from Myanmar-US relations, Myanmar’s dealings with North Korea, sanctions imposed on Myanmar by US and the thorny issue of political prisoners.

Speaking on sanctions imposed on Myanmar, McCain said: “Without concrete action by Myanmar government that signaled a deeper commitment to democratic change, there should be no easing or lifting of sanctions.”

“Let us not lose sight of what would be the greatest contribution to the development of the people here: a commitment by the new Myanmar government to address the country’s dire challenges of health, poverty, education and governance with a similar level of tenacity and resources that it has devoted to the construction of Nay Pyi Taw,” McCain declared alluding to billions of US dollars and unaccountable manpower used by the current government in building up its new administrative capital.

John McCain, who had raised the problem of over 2000 political prisoners in his talks with Myanmar Vice-President Thiha Thura U Tin Aung Myint Oo last Wednesday, said: “Releasing prisoners of conscience, protecting human rights and deepening comprehensive reforms are not steps this new Myanmar government should embrace for the sake of United States. They should do so because it is the right thing to do.”

While still on the subject of political prisoners, John McCain made it clear that should Myanmar government release the political prisoners as called for by international community, it would create an opportunity for a new kind of relationship with the United States.

Most important of all, McCain warned Myanmar government about the winds of change that are now blowing. “Most of all, because the winds of change are now blowing, and they will not be confined to the Arab world. Governments that shun evolutionary reforms now will eventually face revolutionary change later. This choice may be deferred. It may be delayed. But it cannot be denied.”

John McCain during his briefing also strongly urged the new Myanmar government to begin the democratic process of national reconciliation, expressing his agreement with UN Human Rights Council that such a process would have to involve Aung San Suu Kyi, ethnic minority and other opposition leaders.

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Regarding Myanmar’s relations with North Korea, John McCain stressed the point that the new Myanmar government must abide by its international obligations to uphold United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding non-proliferation, and to cease any military cooperation with the government of North Korea, as required by international law.

Describing Aung San Suu Kyi as “a personal hero of mine for decades,” John McCain said she is currently planning to travel around the country in the near future.

“The government must ensure the safety and human rights of Aung San Suu Kyi as she seek to travel around the country in the near future. Aung San Suu Kyi’s last attempt to travel freely was marred by violence ( obviously referring to mob attack on her motorcade in upper part of Myanmar on May 30, 2003 ), said McCain in his briefing.

McCain also explained to newsmen how and in what manner he had asked the new Myanmar government to grant the International Red Cross immediate and unfettered access to all prisoners in this country.

Speaking about the way he was cordially welcomed by Vice-President of Myanmar and both speakers of parliaments, McCain said it clearly showed that the new government of Myanmar wants the better relationship with United States.

Strangely the state-run TV and this morning’s state-owned newspapers published some contents of the talks between US Senator John McCain and Myanmar Vice-President Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo last Wednesday in Nay Pyi Taw.

Vice-President Tin Aung Myint Oo was quoted as assuring McCain that Myanmar’s dealing with North Korea is merely as a global family member and not more than that.

According to this morning’s state-run papers, during his meeting with McCain, the Vice-President had recalled how and in what manner Myanmar had once made arrangements for nuclear research with the assistance of Russia in order that Myanmar would not lag behind other countries in that field and to improve its education and health sectors.

“As for nuclear weapon Myanmar is no position to take account of such weapons as it does not have enough economic strength to do so. And thus even for that research programme initiated with Russia, Myanmar had halted it,” Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo was quoted as telling McCain by state-run newspapers of this morning’s issue.

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