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Pressure Toughens in Myanmar

The cruelty with which the regime in Myanmar has enacted on its own people is terrifying to all of us. Monks, nuns and ordinary citizens who peacefully went into the streets to express their opposition to the economic situation in the country, were met with automatic guns and bludgeons.

The exact number of those wounded and killed is, until now, unknown, and possibly it is much bigger than what is being told by the authorities. The health conditions of the numerous people who are imprisoned are creating a disturbance. Meanwhile, the pursuit is continuing: security authorities are carrying out new round-ups and arrests each night.

It is important to support the international pressure on the Myanmar regime. A prohibition on mass media and the appearance of information on the internet superimposed by generals cannot hide their crimes, crimes that have caused anger and disturbance all over the world.

The main task at present is to put an end to the pressure and attain freedom for all political prisoners. At this time, the state in Myanmar needs to, with the UN special representative Ibrahim Gambari, begin work on the process of present national reconciliation. It is understood that this process needs to be strikingly different from the discredited process of national agreement, which the regime tried in vain to achieve over a period of many years, without having achieved the trust of the Myanmar population.

Aun San Su Ji and all leaders of the political opposition in Myanmar, as well as different ethnic groups need to participate in this process. Their international legitimization is essential with the aid of the UN and neighboring countries.

Anyone who has any kind of influence on the Myanmar regime needs to employ it to convince the junta in vital necessity. The extremely harsh statement of the UN Security Council, which criticized the application of force and called for the liberation of all political prisoners also called for a sincere dialogue with all parties and interested ethnic groups, held the generals accountable. The junta recognized that countries which are part of ASEAN (Association of South Eastern Nations) expressed their indignation regarding the force on the side of safety. China also clearly articulated on the matter, having supported the visit of Ibrahim Gambari in Myanmar and the statements of the UN Security Council. Other neighboring countries, for example, India and Thailand can also play an important role in the fight to improve the future of Myanmars citizens. It is obvious, especially for countries of ASEAN, that supporting the repressive state undermines the whole process of democratization and regional development.

Last month, when a wave of manifestation was growing, the EU expressed it would take measures against the regime without oscillation if it took harsh actions against peaceful demonstrators. The junta, unfortunately, ignored even this forewarning, among others. Linked to this, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the EU gathered on Monday, October 15th, to discuss the matter of strengthening sanctions against the Myanmar regime.

Present sanctions of the EU imply an introduction of a moratorium on the displacement and freezing of financial memberships of a few leaders, as well as forbidding trade transactions with the government enterprises closely linked with the regime. New sanctions are directed towards the economic sphere which bears the largest income for the country, coming from sales of lumber, precious stones and metals.

Financial Interests of the Regime

We confirm the intent to take stricter measures if the regime prevents fair politics. It is a matter of imposing a single pressure on the regime. New measures would support this pressure, putting an accent on the commercial interests of the regime, without affecting the population.

The European Union can also contribute to future progress. At present, the EU is developing a series of measures to help the people of Myanmar, which will be brought into action with the condition that the regime accepts the wish to honestly work for national reconciliation. We concurrently propose the offer support to citizens to improve their situation.

Yet one European sanction is not enough to force Myanmar to begin a real process of conciliation. These measures are only part of a larger mass movement in which the central role must be played by residents of Myanmar in all their great diversity.

This path demands more strength: Myanmar, as some say, is a motley mosaic with ten minorities, languages and cultures. Its regional partners want, soundly and completely, that inevitable political change does not affect the stability in the region. As such, the process must unite various powers and have a wide political base. If, as Aun San Su Ji says, the military must play an important role in the democratic future of Myanmar, then the military dictatorship must end.

Myanmars population was deprived of democracy and economic development for the duration of 45 years. Today, it is once again out in the street opposing harsh violence for a better future. A suitable moment has come for leadership to meet the demands of the people.

Bernard Kouchner- Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, France

David Miliband- Minister of Foreign Affairs, Great Britain

Source: inopress.ru


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