[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

AP: Burma Responds Cooly To Sanctio

Subject: AP: Burma Responds Cooly To Sanctions 04/23/97

                         Burma Responds Cooly
                         To Sanctions

                         By GRANT PECK
                         Associated Press Writer
                         Wednesday, April 23, 1997 1:03 pm EDT

                         BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Burma's military
                         vowed Wednesday not to be swayed by new U.S.
                         economic sanctions that already have sidelined the
                         development of two new natural gas fields.

                         Burma's neighbors also responded cooly to
                         Clinton's announcement Tuesday that he will bar
new U.S.
                         investment in Burma because of ``severe
repression'' by the
                         country's military regime.

                         A brief statement from the Burmese junta's
                         division said the sanctions were imposed for U.S.
                         ``domestic political consumption.''

                         ``We have our own national interest to serve and
we have
                         already set down policies and we have our set aims
                         objectives for the good of the nation,'' it said.
                         Myanmar is working on a straight line toward our
goal, we
                         do not have any reason to deviate from our
original path.''

                         Myanmar is the official name given Burma by the

                         Unocal Corp., the biggest U.S. investor in Burma,
                         Wednesday that it has given up developing two new
                         gas fields because of the sanctions.

                         Unocal has been helping the Burmese government
drill for
                         oil and natural gas and build a $1.2 billion
pipeline from the
                         Yadana gas field in the Andaman Sea to a power
plant in
                         Thailand. Unocal also has proposed building a gas
                         to a fertilizer plant southwest of Rangoon, the

                         ``We were going to look at one or two additional
blocks in
                         the offshore area in the Andaman sea, but it's
clear we
                         would not be able to do it,'' John G. Vandermeer,
a Unocal
                         vice president for new ventures in South and
                         Asia, told Dow Jones Newswires in Singapore.

                         Vandermeer said Unocal would forego other
investments in
                         Burma, but declined to be specific.

                         It will go ahead with plans to look for gas
southwest of the
                         Yadana field, because it is committed by a deal
signed with
                         the Burmese government in January, he said.
                         existing project, a $750 million project for a gas
 pipeline and
                         power plant to supply Rangoon, also will proceed.

                         Burma's neighbors, members of the Association of
                         Southeast Asian Nations, were skeptical about
                         sanctions would succeed in easing repression and
                         Burma toward democratic rule. ASEAN members
                         that maintaining friendly business and political
links is a
                         better approach.

                         ``We have believed from the beginning that any
                         against Burma will not bear fruitful results,''
said Ghaffar
                         Fadyl, a spokesman for Indonesia's Foreign

                         Burma has applied to become a member of ASEAN, and
                         Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in
                         Lumpur that the U.S. move would not affect Burma's
                         into the group.

                         In Thailand, a Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman
                         described the sanctions as a matter between the
                         States and Burma.

                         Burmese opponents of the regime, meanwhile,
                         Clinton's action.

                         Tin Oo, vice chairman of the opposition National
League for
                         Democracy, said in a telephone interview Tuesday
                         from Rangoon that the U.S. action ``is one we have
                         much longingly hoped to happen.''

                         The National League for Democracy won big in a
                         general election, but the military refused to let
parliament be
                         seated. Many of its lawmakers since have been
forced into
                         exile or imprisoned.

                         A statement from the national Coalition Government
 of the
                         Union of Burma, a self-styled government in exile,
 said the
                         move ``reaffirms that the United States stands for
 the rule of
                         law, democracy and human rights and brings hope to
                         Burmese people to the Burmese people.''

                         The group, based in Washington, is made up mostly
                         elected members of parliament of the National
League for
                         Democracy. It and other exile opposition groups
                         other nations to take similar action.

                         Meanwhile on Wednesday, the Asian Development Bank
                         announced it will not resume development
assistance to
                         Burma, suspended since 1986, unless its political

                                ? Copyright 1997 The Associated Press

                                          Back to the top