MUDDLE OVER MYANMAR
The Kentucky Republican, a co-sponsor of tough U.S. sanctions on the military junta, visited Myanmar this week and met with the country’s most prominent pro-democracy advocate, Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been under house arrest for 15 of the past 21 years. She was released in November 2010.
“Secretary Clinton’s visit represents a monumental overture to an outlaw regime whose DNA remains fundamentally brutal.”
Mr. Obama’s decision to restore full relations with Myanmar follows the government’s release of nearly 600 political prisoners and its decision to schedule parliamentary elections, which are set for April 1.
Mrs. Suu Kyi’s political party, the National League for Democracy, is expected to run candidates in the election.
“It is extremely important for the reform movement that the election be perceived as free and fair,” he told the Louisville, Ky., Courier-Journal in a telephone interview from Myanmar.
Thein Sein surprised foreign observers with his announced reforms because he came to power in elections in 2010 that were widely considered fraudulent. The military remains the power behind the president, who is also a former army general.
“But reciprocity is the key word,” he told his hometown newspaper. “They take steps, we respond.”
Mr. McConnell’s support will be crucial for the appointment of an ambassador because the nomination will require Senate confirmation. Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen’s opposition carries symbolic weight, but the House has no role in the appointment of ambassadors.
“I call on the administration to immediately cease talks with the ruthless tyrants in Myanmar until the junta has been replaced with a duly elected, democratic government that respects human rights and civil liberties.”
The United States withdrew its last ambassador, career Foreign Service officer Burton Levin, in September 1990 after the military rulers violently crushed pro-democracy demonstrations.
The U.S. Embassy has been run by a charge d’affaires, a diplomatic rank one step below an ambassador, since then.
Myanmar’s diplomatic mission in Washington, which the State Department still calls the Embassy of Myanmar, also is headed by a charge d’affaires.
• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email email@example.com. The column is published on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
By Jay Sekulow
The left's outrage over the IRS turns to a plea to 'move on'
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
News and opinion from a Millennial Urbanite with Southern sensibilities,
Politics and pop culture from the perspective of an independent hip-hop conservative
Positive propaganda for a nation in peril.
World's Ugliest Dog Contest
Spelling Bee finale
Marines train Afghan soldiers
Rolling Thunder 2013
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal