Clinton seeks to put squeeze on Burma
Tuesday 11 June 1996
The despatch of ambassadors William Brown and Stanley Roth follows Rangoon's adoption of laws which prohibit any attempt to draw up a rival constitution.This would muzzle Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy Party (NLD), which has held large rallies outside her house in recent weeks.
The dissident leader, said a State Department spokesman, "has a right, under international law and any reasonable standard of decency, to speak out about conditions in her own country." Washington is also demanding the release of more than 100 NLD activists still in detention.
Britain also expressed concern that about 30 opponents of the military regime remained in detention. "We are also concerned by reports that some have been charged and may be put on trial behind closed doors, including one of Aung San Suu Kyi's close personal aides, U Win Htein," a Foreign Office spokesman said.
The Clinton administration, which has become increasingly outspoken about human rights abuses in Burma, hopes that its move will prod the military junta into dialogue with the opposition. But Washington is also contending with pressure from Congress for more radical action, which could merely provoke a split with its allies.
On Capitol Hill, a bipartisan Bill has been tabled that would bar US investment in Burma entirely.The State Department is opposed to mandatory sanctions, arguing that the US needs to retain the ability to respond to events in Burma.
Washington is infuriated by the failure of the Burmese junta to crack down on narcotics trafficking but must keep an eye on major US investments in the country. The Unocal energy company has a major stake in a $1bn (pounds 700m) offshore gas project. If Congressional sanctions force Unocal to pull out, other foreign companies would simply move in, Unocal's president, John Imle, said recently.
The two US envoys yesterday began their tour of east Asia in Tokyo, where they met the Japanese Foreign Minister, Yukihiko Ikeda.
Japan's support will be vital to Washington as Japanese grant aid and technical co-operation to Burma amounted to $134m in 1994, more than twice the 1993 total.
Many of the biggest names in Japanese business and finance, including C. Itoh, Sumitomo, Mitsui, Fuji Bank and Mitsubishi, have offices in Rangoon.
But yesterday's meeting seemed to produce little. And if past form is anything to go by, Burma is unlikely to receive much more than a brisk ticking-off from Tokyo.
Mr Brown and Mr Roth were scheduled to fly on to the Philippines yesterday, and later to visit Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
But in Burma, new billboards appeared denouncing Aung San Suu Kyi. They said she was a foreigners' stooge who should be crushed.
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
- 4 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...