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US LOBBIES TO KEEP BURMA OUT OF ASE
Subject: US LOBBIES TO KEEP BURMA OUT OF ASEAN
US LOBBIES TO KEEP BURMA OUT OF ASEAN
IT'S NOT A NORMAL COUNTRY'
Washington, April 26: The United States is trying to
persuade member-states of the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations to turn down a bid by Burma to join the
organization, the state department said on Friday. "We
don't believe that Asean should take this step,"
spokesman Nicholas Burns said. "Burma's human rights
performance is so woeful, so irresponsible that surely
it should not be treated as a normal country, it should
not be rewarded by membership in one of the most
prestigious and important pan-Asian organizations," he
The United State on Tuesday announced a ban on
investment by US businesses in Burma, citing the
military regime's authoritarian tactics, in particular
its attempt to silence Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung
San Suu Kyi.
But it also indicated it was willing to press countries
in the region to also toughen their approach to the
military regime in Rangoon. "We are trying to use our
influence to make the point that Burma should be given
a stiff message that it is not welcome," Mr Burns said
of the Asean proposal to admit Burma, along with Laos
Asean comprises Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Malaysian
Prime Minister Mahathir Mobamad, whose country
currently chairs the the Asean, said on Wednesday in
Kuala Lumpur that the US decision would not affect the
drive for Burma's membership in the group.
"We are going to work very hard to get Myanmar (Burma's
official name) into ASEAN," Mr Mahathir said. ASEAN
foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Kuala Lumpur
on May 31.(AFP).
BURMA SHRUGS OFF SANCTIONS
Rangoon, April 26: A senior leader of Burma's ruling
military has shrugged off US economic sanctions and
vowed not to divert from the country's current course,
press reports said on Saturday.
Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt also lashed out at Burma's pro-
democracy forces led by Ms Aung san Suu Kyi, who on
Friday praised Us President Bill Clinton for imposing
the sanctions. Mr Clinton announced on Tuesday he was
barring new US investments in Burma because of its
military rulers' "severe repression" of the democratic
"The United States is trying to put the government and
the people in a dilemma by imposing economic
sanctions," Mr Khin Nyunt said adding "But there is no
need to worry. With firm conviction and unity, we will
strive hard to realise our objectives."
The secretary of the ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council spoke to civil servants in
Pyinmana, 320 km north of Rangoon, on Friday. His
remarks were carried in government newspapers on
Mr Khin Nyunt charged that "Adopted children of the
neo-colonialists" were attempting to incite unrest and
grab power in Burma. This term is often used by the
military to refer to Ms Suu Kyi's Opposition group.
Meanwhile Ms Suu Kyi, a Nobel Prize winner said in a
press conference, "I respect the US President for
respecting the will of the Congress, which asked for
sanctions if there is large scale repression against
the democratic movement."
"Why the US decided to impose sanctions is because they
feel that investing in Burma is investing in
injustice," she added.(AP)
News and Information Bureau All Burma Students League