2010 Burmese Election may be Illegitimate: Clinton
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2010 Burmese Election may be Illegitimate: Clinton

By LALIT K JHA Thursday, May 21, 2009


WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said the Burmese regime’s 2010 national election could be considered illegitimate and not be recognized, if it continues on its current path.

The statement from the US secretary of state may indicate a tougher stand in the Obama administration, which after coming to power had shown earlier signs of considering a softer approach towards the Burmese junta, announcing a review of the US policy on Burma.

Clinton herself had gone on record to say that US economic sanctions against Burma had not worked.

However, the ongoing trial against Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese pro-democracy leader, appears to have resulted in a tougher stand from the US.

“We reject their (junta’s) baseless charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, their continuing resistance to a free and open electoral process,” Clinton told senators at a hearing on Wednesday, in reply to a question while testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on State and Foreign Affairs.

“If they stay on the track they're on, their elections in 2010 will be totally illegitimate and without any meaning in the international community,” Clinton said in a warning to the Burmese military.

Referring to the ongoing review of its Burma policy, Clinton said: “We are absolutely committed to trying to come up with an approach that might influence the regime.”

A senator asked if it was time for the US to take more affirmative actions to try to influence the military regime.

Clinton said there are several countries that have influence on the Burmese junta. “We are going to try to do our best to influence them to see that this repressive regime is not one that we should continue to support, and hopefully get a greater international base to take action against them,” she said.

Referring to the response the US has received from these countries, Clinton said: “I have been heartened by the response that we have received. I have spoken to a number of the foreign secretaries of Asean countries, who've issued strong statements.”

The United States is working to get more support in the United Nations, Clinton said.

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George Than Setkyar Heine Wrote:

Seems like you are just an ignorant bystander and opportunist just giving lip service only.

Ms Clinton knows what she is doing and specifically in Burma's case.

Exiled pro-democracy groups have been fighting for Burma's freedom and democracy since 1988 until today, risking their lives and posterity, not to mention leaving their families as well, unlike you sitting on the lines and giving lip service even to Ms Clinton like today and only now.

The US should say in no uncertain terms that 2010 elections would not be recognized like Than Shwe's military dominated constitution, without prior release of all political prisoners, review of constitution and holding the dialogue with NLD and others.

And most specifically, US should demand on Than Shwe to abandon his kangaroo court and drop all charges on Daw Suu and her people.
Also, US determined effort for an urgent and immediate agenda on Burma at the UNSC would be most welcome and fruitful in lieu of the matters at hand.

plan B Wrote:
As usual [Mrs Clinton] is blowing empty instead of going to the UN or China to force a consensus. "May be illegitimate'? "May be"? What an empty blower!

1)HC: you can at least visit the countries that is supporting SPDC to effect changes.
2) Direct challenge to SPDC with solid promises if ASSK is released instead of SOS ie worthless sanctions that continue present no win statuses.
3) Stop empty gestures of concern that make no sense such as this article is stating.

John Wrote:
Well said Oparlay.

All US politicians are stupid and they can't see that the people are suffering from stupid sanctions.

Oparlay Wrote:
Dear Mrs H Clinton,

With all due respect, you seem to have better foreign policies than the Bush administration and I hope that, together with President Obama, the US government can tackle this Burma political problem effectively.

You have a very good vision about economic sanctions against Burma which did not work. Although the sanctions are meant to tighten the junta movements and its associates they do affect more the rest of the innocent people.

But Burma always has its way out through China, Singapore, India, Russia, etc, so although it does affect in a certain way they will still be all right, but not the people.

On the other hand, some people argue that the sanctions should affect the local people so that there will be an uprising against the government, but as all witness, it will just lead to the deaths of many innocent people again.

Please be aware of the ineffectiveness of exile pro-democracy movements and try to engage more with the regime and give more pressure to the UN. Thanks.

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