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US URGES ASEAN TO KEEP OUT MYANMAR
U.S. URGES ASEAN TO KEEP OUT MYANMAR
WASHINGTON, April 26.
Calling Myanmar's human rights performance woeful, the
U.S. State Department urged the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) yesterday to reject its
bid for membership. The U.S. State Department
spokesman, Mr. Nicholas Burns said, "Myanmar is not a
normal country and should not be rewarded by membership
in one for the most prestigious and important pan-Asian
"We are trying to use our influence with Asean partners
to make the point that Myanmar should be given a stiff
message that it is not welcome," he said. On Tuesday,
the President, Mr. Bill Clinton, citing Myanmar's human
rights record, imposed a ban on new U.S. investment in
Myanmar is being considered for membership along with
Cambodia and Laos. New members could be admitted at the
Asean summit meeting in Malaysia in September.
The Asean consists of Brunei, Indonessia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
MYANMAR PLEA TO ASEAN
Meanwhile, Myanmar has urged its neighbours to resist
pressure by the United States aimed at preventing
Yangon's entry into the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations this year.
"Asean will have to stick to its guns to show that
nobody dictates to us," a Government official told
Reuters in Bangkok in a telephone interview from
Yangon. "Generally we believe if Asean gives in this
time then it will have to give in every time."
He was responding to remarks made yesterday in
Washington by the U.S. State Department Spokesman, Mr.
Nicholas Burns, who said the United States was lobbying
members of Asean not to admit Myanmar to the seven-
member regional grouping the year.
The Myanmar official said he was not surprised the U.S.
was lobbying Asean.
"I knew of course that they were going to try to
increase the pressure," the Government official said.
"We have said they would put more and more pressure on
"Asean countries have seen through the pretext the
United States has been using. They have realised it's
not democracy the United States wants to impose here,
it's hypocrisy," he said. (AP)
News and Information bureau All Burma Students League.