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Daily Press Briefing byU.S. State D
- Subject: Daily Press Briefing byU.S. State D
- From: trace@xxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 04 Oct 1996 20:01:00
Subject: Daily Press Briefing byU.S. State Department (10/04)
Attn: Free Burma Activists
Re: Daily Press Briefing byU.S. State Department
Department of State
Daily Press Briefing
October 4, 1996
QUESTION: Do you have any response yet to Burma's counter move to restrict travel by
U.S. citizens, and is this leading to some kind of greater breakdown in relations?
MR. BURNS: We did note here that the Burmese Government sought to retaliate against
the United States today by putting into effect the sanctions that are comparable to
our own on access to visas by United States Government officials and their immediate
families. This is really ludicrous.
The Burmese Government is the one that has been a major and consistent violator of the
human rights of its own people. It shut down the democratic elections that took place
several years ago. It has arrested several hundred members of the National League of
It has prevented Aung San Suu Kyi and her followers and her associates from convening
peaceful meetings in Rangoon simply to express their beliefs about the situation in
Burma. There's no question who the violator of human rights is here. This is a desperate
attempt by the military dictators in Burma to try to do something to divert the attention
of their own people from the real problem which exists in the Burmese Government.
I can assure you that it's not going to matter one bit to any of us in Washington, D.C.,
who make policy or implement it or talk about it, that we can't travel to Rangoon at this
time, because we are able to maintain an American Embassy there. Marilyn Meyers, our very
fine Charge d'Affaires, has departed Rangoon. On her heels were these outrageous attacks
by the Burmese Government on her and on her behavior, which we have repudiated.
Kent Wiedemann, who's a very senior American diplomat, specialist in East Asia, will be
taking up his duties as the American Charge d'Affaires in about 10 days' time. We expect
that Mr. Wiedemann will be well treated, and that he will not be subjected to these
It would almost be comical if it wasn't so serious. These people have made fools of
themselves by the allegations that they've hurled against the United States -- the
military dictators. In taking these steps today, they're not going to affect the opinion
of the United States by one bit.
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