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Aung San Suu Kyi discusses sanctions with diplomats

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Detained Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday asked diplomats from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia about their countries’ stand on sanctions, the motive behind it, and its impact.

The Nobel Peace Laureate was met by US deputy Charge d’Affair, UK’s Ambassador Andrew Heyn and Australia’s Deputy Head of Mission, Simon Starr for an hour at a government guest house in Rangoon, Nyan Win, spokesperson of her party the National League for democracy said.

“During the meeting, Daw Suu requested the diplomats to provide her with the facts on what sort of and how many sanctions their countries had imposed against the Burmese regime,” Nyan Win said.   

“She also asked them on what grounds the sanctions were imposed and what are the consequences of the sanctions on the people,” Nyan Win added.

Following the meeting, diplomats from the three countries also met Nyan Win along with several members of National League for Democracy, including Khin Maung Swe, Hla Pe, Soe Myint, Lun Tin and Than Tun.

Nyan Win said, the diplomats briefed them about the discussions they had with the party leader and also assured that they will try their best to fulfill Aung San Suu Kyi’s request.

The meeting between Aung San Suu Kyi and the diplomats came in response to her request to Burma’s military supremo Snr Gen Than Shwe. In September, the pro-democracy leader sent a proposal offering to help in easing western sanctions.

In her letter, she asked Than Shwe to arrange a meeting with representatives of the US, UK, and Australia in order to understand the nature of sanctions and its impact.

Nyan Win welcomed the talks saying, “I can say the recent meeting shows that there is a little progress in terms of cooperation between the NLD’s leader Aung San Suu Ky and the Burmese military leaders.”

But he refused to comment if the meetings could be interpreted as a sign of willingness on the Burmese military leaders’ side to implement change through cooperation with Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under some form of detention for over 14 of the past 20 years.

But Aye Thar Aung, Secretary of the Committee Representing Peoples’ Parliament (CRPP), a coalition of political parties that won  the 1990 elections, said the recent meetings between the junta and Aung San Suu Kyi will not translate into progress politically unless the junta is willing to revise its 2008 constitution and withhold its 2010 election plans.

“Lifting sanctions alone will not solve the political problem,” said Aye Thar Aung adding that the meetings must result in actions and willingness to implement change.

In response to Aung San Suu Kyi’s letter, the junta’s Liaison Minister Aung Kyi met her twice in five days.

The US, in its new policy, has said it will directly engage the Burmese junta while maintaining sanctions that could be phased out as the regime proves that it is making progress politically.

Editing by Mungpi

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 October 2009 20:46 )  

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