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The Obama administration intends to keep the sanctions in place until Myanmar’s regime releases all political prisoners, ends attacks against ethnic groups and establishes a meaningful dialogue with opposition groups, the U.S. official said.

Human rights groups estimate that Myanmar is holding 2,100 political prisoners.

Mrs. Suu Kyi said the international community must work in coordination to be effective in dealing with Myanmar’s military rulers. “That would help a great deal. I think at the moment there are different policies with regard to Myanmar and it does detract from the eventual effectiveness of various initiatives,” she said.

China, India and Thailand and other countries have engaged Myanmar’s military rulers with an eye on the country’s vast natural resources.

This engagement raises the question whether the U.S. has diminished its influence in Myanmar and made its people more dependent on their neighbors, particularly China, the congressional source said.

In an address to India’s Parliament in New Delhi this month, President Obama urged India to condemn the violation of human rights and suppression of peaceful democratic movements in Myanmar.

The junta barred the NLD from participating in the Nov. 7 elections, which the U.S. declared a sham.

The party won the last election in 1990 by a landslide, but the military prevented it from ruling.

Ahead of this year’s election, the military imposed laws that forced political parties to expel members with criminal records, including political prisoners such as Mrs. Suu Kyi. The NLD was dissolved after it refused to abide by these laws.

Mrs. Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, said her party did not take part in the elections because it didn’t think the rules and regulations were fair.

The NLD has since set up a committee to look into allegations of irregularities and vote-rigging.

Last week, Myanmar’s supreme court refused to hear Mrs. Suu Kyi’s lawsuit challenging the decision to dissolve the NLD.

Mrs. Suu Kyi said she intends to appeal the court’s decision but is not confident that she will get justice.

“We have had much experience in the past to indicate that we don’t get free and fair hearings. But still, since we believe in the rule of law, we will pursue this case as far as possible,” she said. “At the same time, the survival of the NLD does not depend on any court of law; it depends on the will of the people.”

Mrs. Suu Kyi expects the NLD will continue to play the role of a “very, very strong opposition force” and wants the party to broaden its engagement with pro-democracy forces within Myanmar.

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