Tony Blair Criticized for Poor Transparency in Burma Dealings

Burma, England, United Kingdom, Tony Blair, Myanmar, Thein Sein, The Irrawaddy, Burma Campaign UK CATEGORY: foreign relations

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair meets Burma’s Vice President Nyan Tun at the Presidential Palace in Naypyidaw in March 2013. (Photo: President’s Office website)

RANGOON — A UK-based Burma advocacy group has criticized former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for lacking transparency in his dealings with Burma President Thein Sein.

Burma Campaign UK says Blair has visited the Southeast Asian nation three times and is believed to be advising Thein Sein in some capacity. In a statement on Thursday, however, the advocacy group said Blair’s office has failed to explain what type of advice the former prime minister is providing.

Blair’s office responded with only one letter to 11 requests for clarification over the past year from Burma Campaign UK, the advocacy group said.

“The letter stated, ‘We are currently carrying out governance work on a short-term basis, supporting the government to build delivery mechanisms to help deliver their long-term strategic goals,’” Burma Campaign UK said of the response in December 2013 from Blair’s office. “This description in the letter was so general as to be meaningless.”

Zoya Phan, the campaign manager at Burma Campaign UK, called on Blair to transparently disclose his involvement with Thein Sein.

“Given that Tony Blair has ignored eleven requests over the past year asking what he is doing in Burma, we can only assume that it is controversial and he wants to keep it a secret,” she said in the statement on Thursday.

“Giving strategic, political and public relations advice to the military-backed government while its soldiers are still attacking and killing civilians and raping ethnic women, would be deplorable. Tony Blair used to preach the need for transparency, now he should practice it and come clean about what he is doing in Burma.”

4 Responses to Tony Blair Criticized for Poor Transparency in Burma Dealings

  1. Blair the Liar, never trust a man with so much blood on his hands, he massed up peace processes already other countries , Blaier – Retire, leave Myanmar we you put in during your time – far away from you than its people are better off

  2. When a war criminal has meetings with a war criminal, it’s hardly surprising that they don’t adhere to principles of good governance.

  3. Many servicemen who sacrificed their lives in WW II are forgotten by the British government. My great uncle’s family will not want to hear that Tony Blair from Labour Party is in Myanmar. We do not need ungrateful English man in Myanmar.

  4. Opening eyes as to the meaning of life, the approach to transition, and effect on stake holders is commendable.
    It is hard to give up power, as it is difficult to give up life. Many times , it has become the unavoidable choice.

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