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American academicians meet NLD leaders

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A three-member team of American academicians led by Prof. Karl D. Jakson, Director General, Southeast Asia Studies, John Hopkins University, met a few leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD).

The team visited the NLD party headquarters on January 11 and met CEC members Nyan Win, Han Thar Myint and Ohn Kyaing from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

“We met but there was no discussion as such. They inquired about the current political situation in Burma, the current situation in the NLD, future objectives, among others. We just answered some questions,” CEC member Nyan Win said.

Nyan Win also said that Prof. Karl D. Jakson once conducted research on former Indonesian President Suharto. He had heard that the team would meet some ministers in Naypyidaw.

Another CEC member Ohn Kyaing said the US team asked about NLD’s Shwegondaing Declaration. The party clarified its stand in the declaration to the Americans.

“We explained our stand in the Shwegondaing Declaration to them but there were no discussions. They told us they would meet government functionaries in Naypyidaw the next day,” he told Mizzima.

According to Ohn Kyaing, the US team told Burmese embassy officials in the US that they would like to meet NLD and Burmese government officials when they applied for visas.

Though rumours suggested the American academicians met NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also, the NLD CEC members could not verify it.

Despite the US team being allowed to meet the NLD, some observers said they are yet to see any positive signs in Burmese politics.

Burma affairs observer Win Min said, “Using both tools is better than using only one tool relating to pressure tactics. We must say this is exercising additional force in exploring ways for a positive development. But for the time being, we cannot see any positive sign of progress. Everything depends on Senior Gen. Than Shwe”.

Prof. Karl D. Jakson  received his doctoral degree in Political Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and served as Assistant Secretary of East Asia Defence from 1986 to 1989, National Security Advisor of US Vice-President from 1991 to 1993, special aide of US President and Asian National Security Council Director from 1989 to 1991 and US-Thai Economic Council Chairman from 1994 to 2005.

Now he is assistant advisor to the World Bank Chairman and at the same time conducting research on ‘Culture of Democracy in Asia’. He has been working in John Hopkins University since 1996.

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 April 2010 16:57 )  

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