Save Burma

ျပည္သူေတြဆီမွာ လြတ္လပ္မႈနဲ႔ တန္းတူညီမွ်မႈ အရင္ဆံုး ရွိေနမွ ဒီမိုိကေရစီ စံႏႈန္းရွိတာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

Tangible Progress (Burmese article) and Tangible Result (English article)

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၂၈-၁ဝ-၂ဝဝ၈ တြင္ ေဖာ္ျပခဲ့ေသာ ေဆာင္းပါးကို  ျပန္လည္ ေဖာ္ျပပါသည္။

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Please click here to download the article in pdf file.

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ဧရာဝတီ တြင္ ၂၁-၂-၂ဝဝ၉ ေန႔က ေဖာ္ျပထားေသာ အဂၤလိပ္ေဆာင္းပါးကို ျပန္လည္ ေဖာ္ျပပါသည္။

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No tangible result of my visit: Gambari

By LALIT K JHA Saturday, February 21, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Special UN Envoy on Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, Friday acknowledged that his recent visit to the country failed to yield any tangible results with regard to the goals set by Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and the Security Council on Burma.

However, he told members of the UN Security Council there seems to be some movement in that regard; a viewpoint which could not satisfy several members of the Security Council including Britain, France and the United States.

Ibrahim Gambari

“I informed the (Security) Council that, so far, we have not seen tangible outcomes of my visit,” Gambari told reporters outside the Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York.”But there seems to be some movement in that direction,” Gambari said, after he briefed the 15-members of the Security Council in a closed door meeting. He was in Burma from January 31 to February 3, during which he met officials of the Burmese military junta and the leaders of the pro-democracy movements and ethnic groups.

He also met Aung San Suu Kyi, but could not meet the Senior General, Than Shwe, during his four day stay in the country.

“I told the (Burmese) government, now is the time to demonstrate Myanmar’s commitment to addressing concretely the issues of concern to the international community, particularly the release of political prisoners and the resumption of dialogue between the Government and Aung San Suu Kyi,” Gambari said.

“I did point out to the Government that the action they take now and in the next few months would send signals to the Secretary General, signals to ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], and signals to the new US Administration, which is trying to develop a new policy towards Myanmar,” he said.

Gambari said the position of the UN with regard to elections and restoration of democracy in the country has not changed.

“We’re not advocating elections in 2010 or any time. It is up to the Government and people of Myanmar to decide but we continue to advocate conditions that are conducive to free and fair elections when they do take place,” he said.

Meanwhile, the British and French Ambassadors to the United States expressed deep disappointment with the UN envoy, for not being able to make progress with regard to the goals set by the UN Security Council.

The two Ambassadors vented out their anger at a media stake out outside the UN Security Council after the 15-member apex body was briefed by Gambari.

“Unfortunately, the content of his report is disappointing and I want to say once again: unfortunately,” the French Ambassador, Jean Maurice Ripert, told reporters. “We regret that there has not been any real progress on the issues of greatest concern. Indeed the situation has gone backwards,” the British Ambassador, Sir John Sowers, said.

Visibly upset with what people of Burma call as a failed mission of Gambari, Ripert said: “He (Gambari) was not in a position to meet with General Than Shwe. It is true he has seen Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi – that is the minimum that could have happened—unfortunately he did not receive in return any serious sign of opening by the authorities of Burma.”

When asked about the release of 6,300 prisoners as announced by the junta’s state media in Friday evening, the UN envoy Gambari said he has not received any official communication from the authorities and is waiting to see who is among those to be released. “At the same time, I believe it’s fair to welcome the release of prisoners, particularly political prisoners,” he said.

However, not satisfied with the announcement of release of political prisoners, the French ambassador Ripert said: “Unfortunately there was no readiness by the authorities to open a political dialogue with the opposition without precondition.”

Since the proposed road map of the military junta is not a commonly agreed agenda, Ripert said: “We have to be very careful not to validate—not to legitimate—such a process in the Security Council as long as there is no political dialogue that could ensure that the opposition will be in a real position to participate, democratically, in those elections.”

As long as there is no consensus in the Burmese society to accept the political process leading to elections, he said: “we don’t think those elections should take place.”

The French Ambassador said the European Union is currently reviewing its policy with regard to Burma. “We have to make decisions on how we view the future of Burma if nothing happens in the few months to come.”

Speaking after the Security Council consultations on Burma, the British Envoy alleged that the Burmese military regime seems to be determined on the path to have an election based on a constitution which has no popular legitimacy.

“We believe that should the Secretary General decide that the time has come for him to visit (Burma) that would be a welcome step. The international community certainly needs to engage the Senior General himself as he is the decision maker in Burma,” he said.

Sowers hinted that it the goals set by the Security Council are achieved in Burma, then there is prospect of the economic sanctions imposed by European countries, the US and, Canada and others being lifted. “If our concerns are met, them the basis of our sanctions has to be reconsidered,” he said.

Unlike his British and French counterparts, the Japanese Ambassador to the UN, Yukio Takasu, has termed “positive.”

“Gambari’s visit this time is very much a positive one than the previous one in terms of meeting with people, specially the Government, Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD (National League of Democracy),” Takasu told reporters after the Security Council held a close door consultations on Burma.

During his stay in Tokyo after his trip to Burma, Gambari met the Japanese Foreign Minister. “They had very good discussions, because Japan is very much interested in genuine democratization process in Burma and is making efforts to get good results through diplomatic means,” he said.

Takasu said the Burmese Government position is to hold elections based on the 2008 referendum, while the NLD’s position is to bring the clock back to 1990 and convene the parliament based on those elections.

“From NLD point of view probably this is not enough,” he observed. “So that is slightly different view point of us.”

“Our view is that the process of democratization by the Myanmar Government now is in fourth stage and the 2010 elections is the fifth stage. We very much hope that the 2010 general elections would be inclusive one, open to all political actors including opposition,” he said.

Copyright © 2008 Irrawaddy Publishing Group | http://www.irrawaddy.org
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http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=15165

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

February 22, 2009 at 2:20 am

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