Thein Sein Meets Burmese in Norway

Burmese President Thein Sein, left, meets with Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in Oslo on Feb. 26, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

Burmese President Thein Sein met with members of Norway’s Burmese community on Wednesday, urging them to return to their native country, while also expressing gratitude to his hosts for supporting his reform efforts.

“The reason I chose Norway to be my first stop is because Norway has helped our people and country in terms of education, health care and support for environmental conservation,” he said during his five-minute speech.

He also thanked the Norwegian government for clearing Burma of the 3 billion Norwegian krone (US $527 million) debt that it owes the oil-rich Scandinavian country.

After decades of isolation, Burma can now begin to rebuild itself with low-interest loans from multilateral lenders such as the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank, thanks to Norway and other countries that have forgiven Burma’s debts, he said.

Thein Sein also spoke about his government’s latest talks with the Kachin Independence Army, saying that he aims to go beyond ceasefire talks to begin a political dialogue that would, he said, protect the rights of ethnic minorities under the Constitution.

Speaking to around 80 members of Norway’s Burmese community, he also reiterated his call to exiles to return to their home country to contribute to the task of nation building.

“Wherever you live now, you are all people of Burma. We may not all be the same, but we all have a common love of our country. Therefore it is time to put aside our differences and work for the good of the Union,” he said.

After the brief meeting, President’s Office Minister Soe Thane and Deputy Information Minister Ye Htut took questions from the audience. Soe Thane said the public should support the president because he is leading democratic reforms.

On his three-day official visit to Norway, Thein Sein met with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide and held a press conference after their meeting on Feb. 26.

He will leave from Norway to continue to his 12-day European tour, which which will also include trips to Finland, Austria, Germany and Italy.

During the press conference, he said that his government wants to reduce armed conflict, and is therefore offering peace-building with the ethnic armed groups. His administration has reached  ceasefires agreements with 10 out o 11 ethnic armed groups in less than two years.

Then Sein also “invited Norwegian companies to invest in the energy, information and technology sectors,” according to the state-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar.

Htet Aung Kyaw contributed reporting from Norway.

5 Responses to Thein Sein Meets Burmese in Norway

  1. “Wherever you live now, you are all people of Burma. We may not all be the same, but we all have a common love of our country. Therefore it is time to put aside our differences and work for the good of the Union,” Thein Sein said.
    In that case why wouldn’t he PUBLICIZE a GENERAL AMNESTY for that matter.
    Requiring a PETITION to RETURN to NATIVE COUNTRY is certainly a case of INSULT no less in addition to ABUSING the INTEGRITY and MORALE of the former Burmese STUDENTS and DISSIDENTS who have left their country to FIGHT for JUSTICE, their RIGHTS, FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY as well in the first place.
    In this light Thein Sein visiting the EU countries is NOTHING MORE THAN A PROPAGANDA STUNT selling his BRAND of DEMOCRACY to DUPE and GARNER EU’S money and expertise to further OIL his PSEUDO-CIVILIAN (military backed) RULE while at the same time the communists in Beijing are STANDING TALL behind him and EXPLOITING the TIME and JUNCTURE as well to SKIN/SKIM Burma of its VAST NATURAL RESOURCES and STRATEGIC LOCATION to ENHANCE the Chinese communists’ long haul DREAM – WORLD HEGEMONY of course.

  2. Yes, rebuilding a country that the military has run into the ground. The generals, a gang of self-interested thugs, have run a state within a state for their own benefit for over 50 years. The looting of Burma by tthe military must stop or be stopped. The best thing this puppet can do is go back to the barracks, with the rest of his gang, and let the people of Burma get on with sorting out the unholy mess the military created.

  3. Showing the intensity of (wrong!) belief of the “international communities” of the virtue of looting and raping of the last virgin land and the enslaving the ready manual workers already hard pressed slaving in Thailand, Malaysia, Korea and Japan as well as less-than-one-dollar-a-day inland sweat shops owned by foreigners, there has been unprecedented co-ordination, spin and unified effort to fool the public of Burma- prizes, visits- of all the known dignitaries in detailed, choreographed sequence, pronouncement by sycophantic press of the international journalists (of screw-the-Iraqi-public-using-false-WMD-accusation-in-unison fame) and conceited, “advanced journalists” like once-were-revolutionaries- Aung Zaw, Aye Chan Naing, Soe Myint, etc.

    This pantomime is mainly aimed at two populations. Mainly poor public of Burma, real owners of the land and the resources these people in unison want to steal and cheated them out of, and the share holders of the companies which will do the deed at coal face to sooth that their little conscience.

    Idea is to make the appearance of same (in fact -even million times worse in the last two years) ex-military clique in clown dress as true saviors of the public of Burma in the face of exact opposite evidence on the ground.

    Norwegians are just convenient wannabe trying to join the seasoned rapists and looters of the people of world, The Yanks and The Brits. Vikings finished their global loot in early part of the last century and the Norwegian’s serious attempt to be relevant in the world by doing the “processing” of Sri Lanaka for western business (neo-liberal is the word usually used for these evil acts) both before and after the worst civilian massacre of the century at Mullivaikal (which every one ignores while the Buddhist perpetrator-the Sinhala government gives “Courses in Massacre” to other interested countries, near and far) has been clumsy and disastrous although it does not stop them meddling in Karen Land along with the world’s sickest and richest Fascist- Sasakawa (who owns WHO and UNICEF) comes in.

    Still, judging by the obscene haste Obama rushed to Burma (even though he was not game enough to put foot on North Korean designed Potemkin City built with of Chinese’ billions) there is at least a perception that the real owners of the land and labor of the country Burma, the 50 odd million public, may get to realize quickly that they have been hoodwinked by Aung San Suu Kyi (groomed and cultivated by the “west” with tons of self-conceit and snobbery)and the ex-revolutionaries ( the likes of 88’s, -open politics-, ha,ha- the “dissident journalists, etc) drumming up for CRONY-AND-FOREIGN-CORPORATIONS-AND-AGENCIES based economy is not really intended for any good for themselves at all!

    The race is ON.

    Either put things in place towards the point of no return- like people stuck forever in sweatshop factories, etc, lands and farms permanently destroyed and corrupt the majority public of Burma with surplus yet shiny consumer goods quickly or get caught with the trousers down with these deceit and cruel acts for domination and extermination.

    At least the internet-ted people longing for Bangkok/ Singapore/ New York like land and KFC shops will support any act of destruction for money or that all important “electricity” at all cost selling out their own mothers,even.

    Shame those farmers now being shot at or napalmed-at almost every week in different places around the country are not taking the KFC-bait like their enlightened, Valentine-day, New Year Day, Literary (or was it literature?) Festival Day celebrating expats and connected people. More education is surely required.

    • Yes Ohn, so much that you say is true. The so called pro democracy leaders have given up virtue to purchase wealth and liberty to purchase power. The reality is that these misguided fools are sacrificing liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety.

  4. By the way, Thein Sein, however one paints it, a monkey is a monkey.

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