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SLORC will not be pressured into c
- Subject: SLORC will not be pressured into c
- From: ausgeo@xxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 19:51:00
Subject: SLORC will not be pressured into change:
US-Burma-junta,lead : Burma will not be pressured into change: ruling junta
(RECASTS with warning for US companies)
RANGOON, April 24 (AFP) - Burma's military government Thursday said it will
not be pressured into changing its policies after being hit by US economic
sanctions and warned that US companies would be the big losers.
"We will not change our policies and programmes just because of pressure
exerted on us by a foreign power," Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, first
secretary of the ruling junta, was quoted as saying in the official press.
Khin Nyunt's comments follows a ban on new US investments in military ruled
Burma which were announced Tuesday in Washington.
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the sanctions were in response
to the continued repression of the pro-democracy opposition led by Nobel Peace
Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
A Burmese military official said in a statement that Burma would not deviate
from the path it had chosen, and accused the US government of imposing the
sanctions for domestic political consumption.
The official added that Burma, which began opening its doors to outside
investors in the late 1980s after three decades of self-imposed isolation, had
vast economic opportunities for countries who were willing to come in.
"Myanmar (Burma) has opened her doors to outside investments and her abundant
natural resources will benefit all those who come to invest," he said.
"We can only feel sorry for the US companies, because they will not get a
second chance later to invest in Myanmar if opportunities are taken over by
companies from nations with consistent foreign policies," he added.
Khin Nyunt also said the ruling junta would continue to make "ceaseless
endeavours" towards building a modern Burma "regardless of the pressure
exerted on Burma by Western powers, especially the United States."
"The new economic sanctions will not be a problem for us," he said, adding
that there were plenty of other countries willing to pour their resources into
Burma's growing economy.
He also accused the United States of deliberately "turning a blind eye" to
Burma's efforts to eradicate illicit drugs and rejected US contentions that
Rangoon was not committed to combatting the spread of narcotics.
The United States says Burma is the world's largest producer of opium and has
accused government officials of rubbing shoulders with well known drug
smugglers and turning a blind eye to the trade as a whole.
Khin Nyunt was speaking during an anti-drug trip to Shan state, the former
center of operations for opium warlord Khun Sa, who surrendered to the central
government in early 1996.