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On behalf of the democratic Alliance of Burma, I would like to
express my concern over the recent remarks made by Mr Winston
Lord, your Assistant Secretary of State, regarding the political
situation in Burma. Mr Lord, in an appearance before a US Senate
subcommittee, spoke put in opposition to proposed economic
sanction against Burma.
Mr Lord told the subcommittee that the imposition of economic
sanctions on the military dictatorship in Burma would be counter-
productive. I found this position to be quite surprising from
someone who is supposedly an expert on foreign affairs and the
use of power in pursuit of national interests. Sanctions,
effectively enforced, provide the incentives for recalcitrant
governments to conform to international norms of behaviour. To
suggest that economic sanctions are uncalled for punishment in
remarkable for its absurdity when discussing one of the most
repressive regimes in the world today.
It was my understanding that President Clinton supported the pro-
democracy movement in Burma and has recognized the leadership of
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy as
representing the will of the foreign policy of the United States
should reinforce here call for a dialogue. Economic sanctions, as
proposed by Senator McConnell will provide the leverage she needs
at this critical time in the struggle. It would be very easy to
lift these sanctions should Daw Aung San Suu Kyi so request.
I would ask that you reconsider your opposition to Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi and to the imposition of economic sanctions. As you know,
we are attempting to achieve our goals of restoring democracy
through nonviolent struggle. Economic sanctions are powerful
weapons in the nonviolent arsenal.
Tin Maung Win
Democratic Alliance of Burma