Fri 25 Feb 2011
Filed under: International,United Nations
Kuala Lumpur: Sanctions on Myanmar should be lifted as the people are suffering, said Tan Sri Razali Ismail.Razali, who was a former United Nations secretary- general’s special envoy to Myanmar, said he disagreed with Aung San Suu Kyi who he said “insisted on sanctions”.
He said Suu Kyi, who was released from house arrest last year, was being exposed to too many advisers.
“Myanmar has to begin to prosper. They are now importing rice, which is ridiculous,” he said in his keynote address and dialogue at the Second Asian Mediation Association conference entitled Rediscovering Mediation in the 21st Century.
Razali said help needed to be extended to Myanmar without passing judgment.
“If we do this, the position of the military will probably not be as hard as it is now.
“They will have confidence that this is the way to go.
“That is why it is time for sanctions to be lifted,” he said.
Many issues had to be addressed, including central and state relations, the role of ethnic groups, the plight of displaced people and migrant workers, he noted.
Razali, who went to Myanmar 14 times and visited Suu Kyi more than 20 times in less than five years, said he had a high regard for her and described his experience as “very rewarding”.
On another note, Razali said it was necessary to have a mediation unit in South-East Asia but said it should be led by an NGO or independent institution.