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Obama urges Myanmar to free democracy leader Suu Kyi

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Obama urges Myanmar to free democracy leader Suu Kyi

November 15, 2009 — Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)

Aung San Suu Kyi, the iconic face of democracy in Myanmar, was placed under house arrest in 1989.

Singapore (CNN) — President Obama on Sunday called for the release of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.

“There are clear steps that must be taken: the unconditional release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi; an end to conflicts with minority groups; and a genuine dialogue between the government, the democratic opposition and minority groups,” according to Obama, who said the regime should work to ensure its people’s needs are met.

He spoke during a meeting with ASEAN-10 leaders that included the prime minister of Myanmar. Obama is the first U.S. president to take part in a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations economic alliance. The formal meeting was held Sunday.

That 10-nation alliance includes Myanmar, which the United States and other nations have accused of human rights abuses.

U.S. officials were careful to avoid any perception that Obama’s presence at the ASEAN meeting would amount to a bilateral discussion with the prime minister of Myanmar.

After years of refusing direct talks with Myanmar, also known as Burma, the United States has indicated a possible re-engagement with the military regime it considers repressive for cracking down on political opposition, including the National League for Democracy.

The league is led by Suu Kyi, a detained Nobel Peace Prize winner.

“The statement we’re trying to make here is that we’re not going to let the Burmese tail wag the ASEAN dog,” said Jeffrey Bader, the National Security Council’s senior director for East Asian affairs. “We’re going to meet with all 10, and we’re not going to punish the other nine simply because Burma is in the room, but this is not a bilateral.”

Obama reiterated his stance in a speech Saturday in Tokyo, Japan.

“Despite years of good intentions, neither sanctions by the United States nor engagement by others succeeded in improving the lives of the Burmese people,” he said.

“So we are now communicating directly with the leadership to make it clear that existing sanctions will remain until there are concrete steps toward democratic reform.”

Suu Kyi, the iconic face of democracy in Myanmar, was placed under house arrest in 1989.

The next year, the National League for Democracy won more than 80 percent of the legislative seats in the first free elections in the country in nearly 30 years.

But Myanmar’s military junta disqualified Suu Kyi from serving because of her house arrest and annulled the election results.

Her supporters say Suu Kyi’s latest arrest — ostensibly over an American visiting her home without government permission — is meant to keep her confined so she cannot participate in the general elections that the junta has scheduled for next year.

She has been under house arrest for 13 of the past 19 years, and is rarely allowed visitors, except for her doctor.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/11/15/obama.suu.kyi/

More news

AFP

Free Suu Kyi, Obama demands Bangkok Post – ‎

Release Suu Kyi, Obama tells Myanmar leader Business Times (subscription) – Chuang Peck –

Obama urges Myanmar ruler to release Suu Kyi Radio New Zealand – ‎

Obama tells Burma to free Suu Kyi CBC.ca –

Obama tells Myanmar PM: release Suu Kyi ABS CBN News – ‎

Free Aung San Suu Kyi, Obama tells Burma PM guardian.co.uk – ‎

Obama’s Asia Tour: Focus on Japan and China Kashmir Watch – Abdul Ruff

Obama appeals for Aung San Suu Kyi’s freedom Radio Australia News –

Obama pledges better ties with Myanmar PRESS TV –

Free Aung San Suu Kyi, Obama tells Burma PM guardian.co.uk –

Obama calls for Suu Kyi’s release United Press International –

Obama appeals for Aung San Suu Kyi’s freedom Radio Australia News –

Obama pledges better ties with Myanmar PRESS TV – ‎

Barack Obama tells Burma to free Aung San Suu Kyi Telegraph.co.uk –

Obama tells Myanmar to free Suu Kyi Aljazeera.net –

Obama Urges Burma To Free Opposition Leader Sky News

US eases push for Suu Kyi’s release The Age – Vijay Joshi

Obama urges release of Burma democracy champion Suu Kyi ChattahBox –

Release Suu Kyi, Obama tells Burmese PM InTheNews.co.uk – Matthew Champion

Obama Tells Thein Sein Release Suu Kyi The Irrawaddy News Magazine – Simon Roughneen

Obama meets Myanmar PM, calls for Suu Kyi’s release Reuters Canada – Patricia Zengerle, Bill Tarrant

Obama asks Myanmar to release Suu Kyi Republica –

US calls for release of Aung San Suu Kyi Radio Netherlands – ‎

Obama tells Burma to free Suu Kyi Independent – ‎

Obama meets Myanmar PM, calls for Suu Kyi’s release Reuters – Patricia Zengerle, Bill Tarrant

Obama tells Myanmar junta to free Suu Kyi eTaiwan News –

Obama asks Myanmar to free Aung San Suu Kyi Inquirer.net – Christian V. Esguerra

Obama tells Myanmar junta to free Suu Kyi The Associated Press – Vijay Joshi

Release Suu Kyi, Obama tells Burma junta ABC Online –

Obama calls for Suu Kyi’s release at ASEAN summit Moneycontrol.com –

Obama calls for Suu Kyi’s release RTE.ie –

In Meeting with Southeast Asian Nations, President Obama Calls for Myanmar to Free Aung San Suu Kyi ABC News –

Obama calls for release of Aung San Suu Kyi at meeting with Burma premier guardian.co.uk –

Obama meets with Myanmar’s Thein Sein in Singapore Kyrgyzstan News –

Obama tells Myanmar junta to free Suu Kyi Columbus Ledger-Enquirer – Vijay Joshi

Release Suu Kyi, Obama tells Myanmar PM AFP –

Obama urges Burma to free Suu Kyi BBC News –

Obama tells Myanmar PM: Release Suu Kyi Sydney Morning Herald –

Obama Calls For Suu Kyi’s Release At ASEAN Summit New York Times – Nopporn Wong-Anan, Dean Yates


Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Obama urges Myanmar to free democracy leader Suu Kyi […]

    Save Burma

    November 15, 2009 at 3:51 pm


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