Burma’s Joy at Obama’s Victory and Visit

US President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden celebrate at their election night victory rally in Chicago. (Photo: Reuters)

US President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden celebrate at their election night victory rally in Chicago. (Photo: Reuters)

RANGOON—Barack Obama’s newly-won second term in office and unconfirmed reports of a visit to Burma later this month have been largely welcomed by the country’s political and business establishments, with many expressing hope that the US president further strengthens bilateral ties.

Even though the White House has not confirmed the trip, AFP reports that the newly re-elected US president will come to Burma on Nov. 19, quoting a Burmese government official.

Win Tin, one of the executive council members of the main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party, said he felt glad about the incumbent’s triumph at Tuesday’s polls. “The Democrats have supported our country a lot, especially the NLD. So I think it was good when Mr. Obama was re-elected.”

Moe Myint, the joint-secretary of the Karen People’s Party, hopes that the re-election and upcoming visit of the 51-year-old will improve the US-Burma relationship.

“During his first term, Mr. Obama eased some of the sanctions that the US imposed on Burma. He also talked with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. That means he has good knowledge of what is happening in our country today,” said Moe Myint.

“If someone else won, there might have been policy changes for our country. His visit simply shows Burma and the US are now forging a better relationship. I hope his visit will bring opportunities for our country.”

Ethnic leaders like Hkun Htun Oo, president of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, welcomed the Chicago native’s extra four years in the White House and hoped that he would get involved in Burma’s minority affairs.

“It is good that he won,” he said. “Burma’s problems with ethnics groups have not finished yet. If he intervenes in these issues, it will be good. If we get a chance to see him, we would explain about the country’s ethnic issues.”

Zaw Aye Maung, the minister for Arakan (Rakhine) Affairs for Rangoon Division, emphasized that the proposed visit would be the first from a serving US president for five decades.

“As he is coming after his victory, he will be happy and there will be willingness [to cooperate],” he said. “I believe that his willingness to help out will surely work for our country’s benefit.”

The Rakhine Nationalities Development Party MP added that he would attempt to arrange a meeting between the US president and representatives of the Arakanese in Rangoon Network to explain the real situation and historical context of the current crisis in western Burma.

Apart from the political arena, Burmese businessmen have cheered the US president’s return to office and his expected visit to the country.

Mya Thin Aung, a director of First Myanmar Investment Co. Ltd. as well as of Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone in Rangoon, was delighted as the US president has supported Burma’s democratic transition by easing trade sanctions.

“What perfect timing!” he said. “Shortly after our president approved the foreign investment law, Mr. Obama was re-elected and is visiting our country. So it is assumed that the rest of sanctions will also be revoked, and his visit will surely pave the way for future investors from America.”

“His Burmese trip will clear the way for business opportunities,” said Dr. Aung Win, the deputy chairman of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association. “The government needs to discuss imports and duty free matters with him for we still haven’t had any formal agreement from the US government.”

US Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton came to Burma last December, and until now was the highest level White House official to have visited the country. In July this year, Derek Mitchell, the new US ambassador to Burma, formally assumed his position 22 years after diplomatic relations were downgraded in response to the former junta’s brutal crackdown on the 1988 democratic protests and its failure to honor the landslide NLD victory in the 1990 general election.

4 Responses to Burma’s Joy at Obama’s Victory and Visit

  1. Mitt Romney probably thinks Burma is near Bahamas. Good for the whole world that Obama won a second term. Democrats are the lesser of two evils though we can never be sure if they get more gung ho or do more for US Big Business at the expense of democracy and freedom they claim to promote in the rest of the world. Gore Vidal famously said, “…the United States has only one party—the property party. It’s the party of big corporations, the party of money. It has two right wings; one is Democrat and the other is Republican.”

    • More military coup-s are done in foreign countries during  “Democratic” named wing of American Right Wing government and more people are killed during the “Democratic” named right wing American government that the “Republic” named one. Short of Kissinger/ Nixon pair, Obama has killed more people around the world (and is still killing more on daily basis, plus torturing than any other presidents so far.

      No doubt the Burmese should be rejoicing. They worship the in house killer government chanting “Thamada Gyi Gone Daw” anytway. Themada Gyi the killer. Ask Kachin. On the last look, Rohingya or whatever they are called are human too.Unless you are total, total idiots, those “democratic and republicans are simply names like Aung Nat and Nga Phyu, two poodles of money men.

  2. Like a baby growing in stages, people around the world have different levels of knowledge, understanding and perception in stages.
    For the last a hundred years, every single thing touched by the Americans, simply and without exception, turned into dust and smouldering rubble.
    Shah of Iran, Noreiga, Hussein, Marcos, Bin Laden,Zia Ul-Haq, Gerardo Machado y Morales of Cuba toppled in God Father II movie,the list goes on of the little gems used by the Yanks for their benefit and destruction of the people of those places.

    Now they even got their own private Al Qaeda to take over Syria which might yet prove to be their Waterloo.

    And their coffers are negatives 16 trillions and is rising faster than a rocket.

    For the Americans, they simply want the land route, resources, manuel labour and consumer market for DUMPING.
    Whether they can put US military in Burma as they are now trying is not that important. Because if China wins, America, their biggest debtor wins just like their own win.
    So one now sees the people in middle east burning the American flag and killing the American Ambassador in a messy affair
    , the Chinese people attacking American Ambassador during anti-Japanese riots .
    But one sees the Burmese in America so excited about voting Obama which is immaterial as far as raping and looting of Burma is concerned as the fundamentals are the same.
    And no doubt one will see Burmese in Burma excited and thronging and fawning over the man representing the multinational financial and commercial corporations thinking he IS their saviour just as millions before thought.
    The Arabs have learned. The Venezuelans have learned. The Chinese have learned.
    Burmese are excited like a 15 year old in love.

    The sycophantic and idiotic journals will drum up the Obama Gone Daw  to sell out false hope to the masses.

    The only thing the American led international conglomerates represented by these “Elected” clowns is destitution and moral decay of the country.

    Wisdom is to know the event before irreversible damage is done.
    Wisdom is what the Burmese sadly lack.

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