Statement of Canadian Friends of Burma – December 2, 2011
OTTAWA - Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB) welcomes the historic visit of the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Burma and hopes her presence further encouraged the reform process being carried out by Thein Sein Government.
During her visit from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, the new government in Burma assured her that political reforms would continue to take place including the release of the remaining political prisoners. However, we agree with the conclusion of the Secretary of States that it is too early to lift economic sanctions and "to match actions with actions."
In that regard, we support the position of the National League for Democracy (NLD) that countries "imposed sanctions on Burma to effect improvements in the human rights situation and to promote democratic values."
However, we note that sanctions alone cannot bring about a change in Burma and engagement such as the one taken by the United States is a welcoming one.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also said Mrs. Clinton earlier today at her resident that "We are happy with the way in which the United States is engaging with us," and she added, "It is through engagement that we hope to promote the process of democratization."
The Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird also expressed an interest of engagement on Burma. We believe that Canada, equipped with the strongest economic sanctions on Burma, has an extended role to play for the realization of democracy, human rights and the prosperity of Burmese people.
The Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB) is federally incorporated, national non-governmental organization working for democracy and human rights in Burma. Contact: Suite 206, 145 Spruce St., Ottawa, K1R 6P1; Tel: 613.237.8056; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web: www.cfob.org