Suu Kyi calls on U.S. to lift export ban
Myanmar’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, began her first trip to the U.S. since she was released from house arrest amid hints the Obama administration was preparing to lift a decades-old ban on her country’s lucrative exports, which include gems, textiles and oil and gas.
The ban could be eased in coming weeks, said officials briefed on government policy deliberations. Underscoring U.S. efforts to coax Myanmar’s reform drive, the administration also planned to remove individuals and companies in Myanmar from a U.S. blacklist.
Ms. Suu Kyi called on the administration to dissolve the import ban Tuesday in her first U.S. appearance. Myanmar’s president, Thein Sein, a retired military officer who initiated the Southeast Asian nation’s dramatic political reforms last year, plans to attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting next week in New York.
Ms. Suu Kyi’s position on the import ban was criticized by some democracy activists, who said the dissolution of U.S. sanctions would deprive Washington of a key diplomatic tool for pressing Myanmar’s military leaders to promote political reforms and end its military campaigns against the country’s ethnic minorities.
But she said it was time to let the country’s internal reforms progress without outside pressure.
“We should not depend on U.S. sanctions to keep up the momentum for democracy. We have got to work at it ourselves,” Ms. Suu Kyi said in response to a question about her position on the U.S. export ban. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate appeared with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the U.S. Institute of Peace, a congressionally funded think tank in Washington.
Neither Mrs. Clinton nor other U.S. officials on Tuesday confirmed that a move was imminent to lift the U.S. ban on Myanmar’s exports. A State Department official said the ban was renewed by Congress in August, but allows the administration to waive its provisions. Officials are consulting with lawmakers and others about the import ban, the official said.
Mrs. Clinton stressed that Washington wanted to work with the leaders of Myanmar, also known as Burma, to continue opening up its economy and political system.
“We’ve taken steps to exchange ambassadors, ease economic sanctions, and pave the way for American companies to invest in the country in a way that advances rather than undermines continued reforms,” Mrs. Clinton said. “And we are in close contact with government and opposition leaders.”
burma is right between india and china..its a very important country..they are being feted by the west now not for democracy for the people of burma..but for its strategic geography, its resources and its ability to piss off the chinese by becoming great mates with the usa..