IFI Assistance to Burma in US ‘National Interest’: Clinton

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (right) presents Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi with a Global Citizen Award in New York on Sept. 21, 2012. (PHOTO: Reuters)

WASHINGTON—The United States will support international financial institutions’ (IFI) assistance to Burma, its Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said on Thursday, paving the way for this Southeast Asian nation to receive financial support from organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“On Oct. 12, the Secretary of State made a determination that it is in the national interest of the United States to support international financial institution assistance to Burma,” the State Department said. “The determination paves the way for the United States to support assistance to Burma through IFIs and to continue to support ongoing reform efforts.”

This statement would appear to back up the requirements of recent Congressional legislation which was signed into law by US President Barack Obama.

Such a determination is significant for Burma, as prior to this legislation, the US executive directors at international financial institutions, including the World Bank, the IMF and the Asian Development Bank, did not vote in support of any projects or programs for Burma that required a board decision.

“This determination will enable the United States to vote on assistance to Burma during the World Bank’s upcoming board meetings in early November,” the State Department said, adding that this will also provide the US with the ability to shape the policies and activities of the IFIs in a way that advances reform, good governance, transparency, and accountability in Burma.

“The United States supports the Burmese government’s ongoing reform efforts, and believes the IFIs have a critical role to play in helping promote stronger institutions to ensure sound economic policy and good governance in Burma,” the State Department said. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank recently opened their offices in Burma.

By making such a determination, the US Secretary of State ignored the concerns of the human rights bodies, who argued that this is not the right time to lift sanctions on Burma.

“Although the United States and many governments in Europe and Asia have continuously praised President Thein Sein for the changes taken place in Burma, these are half-way measures in some areas as well as areas that haven’t changed at all,” said Aung Din, a former political prisoner and executive director of the US Campaign for Burma, in a recent statement.
“These changes are not secure and irreversible yet, and it is the major reason for the argument made by key stakeholders of Burma, ethnic nationalities, civil society organizations and democracy activists who all request the United States to maintain the remaining sanctions. However, their voices are simply ignored,” Aung Din said.

According to Aung Din, the absence of sanctions removes the motivation for the government to engage in further and serious negotiations with ethnic groups as well as political reform leading towards the 2015 election.

2 Responses to IFI Assistance to Burma in US ‘National Interest’: Clinton

  1. The Burmese Freedom Fighter

    There is no doubt that these international actions, one after another, in support of Burma reform process to its democratization have been made at the recommendation of the people leader: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She is the authority of what international community should do when it come to the interest of Burmese people. Unshaken support to her call is where the future of Burma sit, a tolerated democratic country. 

    America is doing the right thing to encourage and usher Burma for its potential under the democratic system. Since this time of transition in Burma is really important for the future of Burma, have there never been such a strong support behind one leader at this critical; a stand by the true democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Only if we keep doing so until end, the journey of democracy will reach its destiny with low cost of tragedy along its path. 

    Thank you very much America for listening and responding to the call of Burmese people for much needed support. The actions US has just taken will help create jobs for millions of Burmese people: another big step in advancing for the improvement of Burmese people lives, believes in democracy, and reaching possibility of overcoming the hard reality.   

    The Burmese Freedom Fighter

  2. This time each year, thrill seekers go for “Big Swell”. Along North Californian coast. In  Kathryn Bigelow film “Point Break”, Patrick Swayze was seen running opposite to the escapees of the storm into the big swell.
    Never to return!

    In today’s abundance of information, the daily show of  Greece’s fiery riots and European public  swearing at the “Troika” (EU, European Central Bank and IMF) is evident. People watch  on television house wives on the brink of suicide, long bread lines, filthy homeless beggars, empty hospital cupboards, young pharmacist not able to afford required heart drug, daily rising actual suicides, rise of violent far right groups and more. One only needs to  put in “Greek tragedy” in You Tube for plenty last minute coverage. Greeks as well as Spanish and many others before them are trying to run away from the troika, or regret ever having anything to do with them. While Burma………  Patrick Swayze was just acting!

    One of Christine Lagarde’s first act as MD ( Supreme Commander) of IMF was to cut off the oil subsidy in North African states ( oil rich Nigeria, Chad, Cameron, Ghana, Guinea) starting endless riots there.http://www.nairaland.com/842450/young-oyinbo-explains-imf-gej

    With such riot ignition as her principle job, why is it that the smart, wise, now internationally connected Burmese are jubilant like school kids  by the  ice-cream truck when that very Lagarde woman conferred the “Prize” to her willing, smiling  Trojan horse, Aung San Suu Kyi?

    Every single place on earth, literally, has seen riots and ruins where ever the Bretton Woods Monsters- IMF and WB (ADB)  have been. Like Midas’ touch!

    Nowadays it is simple matter to put in “evil” and “IMF”  in You Tube or Google  to see the devastation these twin Monsters created all over the globe. One may remember Mahathir Mohammed resisted IMF in 1997. With success.

    Strict and ONLY practice of IMF: 

    Infrastructure loans conditional on exchange rate favourable to the IMF owners- (US, EU), Compulsory trade deals favourable to IMF owners meaning they will dump any surplus goods paying no tax to the country and not allowing any export tax on the raw materials they want, 
    Cutting subsidy for public services- health and education, and cutting down the number of government employees.
    Enforcing the SEZ’s for minimal sub-subsistence wage employment with no tax to the country.

    Even in a country like Burma where there is no health and education budget to speak of, it is still possible to cut down the work force and their meagre benefits and take away their dignity and chase the newly  unemployed to join the newly  landless peasants  from all the land loots going on for the “development”. They will then serve as voiceless sub-survival wage slaves in Soap and Sock Factories spending their miserable existences in appalling filthy drug and crime ridden  ghettoes going through work/ strike/ rough justice cycles. Mind you, the expected life span might still get longer although, like the Greek house wives, they wish it doesn’t.

    Yes. there will be high rise buildings, wide roads and cinemas,broadband internet, iPAD’s,  karaoke bars, massage parlours, KFC, Casinoes,  hotels, resorts, golf courses. More and more of them.  People will be proud to say they belong to a country with these facilities even though they are abysmally worse off in social, moral and personal dignity terms then their grand parents in more ways than one.

    Burma is an elementary job for the Bretton Woods Monsters. All the favourable ingredients are there. Rich resources, ready market nearby,  most powerful authoritarian regime in changed clothes, totally ignorant but conceited populace who put their trust in false messiah who is in fact the Trojan for the multinational corporations which fund the Bretton Woods Monsters, and diaspora outside the country who are drunk by the very thought of Burma having a McDonald joint which their pathetic  minds tell them as the highest point of civilization.

    And the Americans are now kindly allowing the Bretton Woods Monsters to “Fund” the country to start the destruction. How altruistic in traditional yanky style! Must ask the Iraqi about their “liberation experience”.

    Still Norwegian facilitations must be remembered.

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