Wed 29 Mar 2006
Filed under: International,News
Washington – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged China and India on Tuesday to put more pressure on Myanmar’s military junta over its poor human rights record.
Rice also said that countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) should do more to push for freedom in its fellow member, formerly known as Burma.
“We need China to be more active on this front â€¦ and India as well,” Rice told the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Burma is one of the very worst regimes in the world.”
Myanmar’s military ignored a landslide election victory in 1990 by the National League for Democracy led by Aung San Suu Kyi and has continued to rule the country with an iron fist.
Nobel laureate Suu Kyi has been in jail or under house arrest since May 2003 and the United States and others have consistently called for her release.
Rice said she brought up Myanmar at every meeting she had with officials from China and India, adding that President George W. Bush did the same.
“We have to continue to encourage countries in the region to take an active and more public line on Burma. And outside of the region, places like Europe can make a difference,” Rice said.
The United States has imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Myanmar, including a ban on most imports, and Rice told senators they would not be relaxed until the government changed its ways.
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