UN Sec-Gen Backs Thein Sein

Burma’s President Thein Sein waves to supporters as he arrives on Monday at Rangoon International Airport after his trip to the UN in New York. (PHOTO: Reuters)

WASHINGTON—Commending Burmese President Thein Sein for his political vision, the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, reiterated the world body’s full commitment to supporting the process of reform in Burma.

Speaking in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Ban reiterated the statement to representatives from the 14-nation “Group of Friends on Burma,” as well as to Bangladesh and the secretary-general of Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC).

The UN secretary-general also discussed the current situation of the Rohingya Muslims with Thein Sein.

According to a UN statement, Ban and Thein Sein met on Saturday in New York where they discussed the recent outbreak of violence in Arakan State, including immediate and long-term strategies to promote inter-communal harmony, and developmental efforts.

“The [Burmese] president confirmed the country would address the long-term ramifications of this question,” said the UN statement, adding that Ban called for concerted efforts in addressing the situation in Kachin.

Commending Thein Sein’s “political vision and leadership” and encouraging him to continue to focus on the reform process and on its consolidation, Ban reiterated the readiness of the United Nations to continue to support the reform process in Burma, including peace-building activities through his Good Offices.

A spokesman for the UN secretary-general said that the issue of Burma, and in particular that of the Rohingyas, also came in for discussion during Ban’s meetings with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“The Secretary-General acknowledged Bangladesh’s hosting of large numbers of refugees from Myanmar [Burma],” the spokesman said, adding that the two leaders noted Burma’s transition process and the need for common efforts to help resolve the Rohingya situation.

Ban also met with Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu, the secretary-general of the OIC, and discussed the issues concerning the Rohingya community. “He indicated the importance of the situation in Rakhine [Arakan] being treated carefully because of the potential wider implications of the Rakhine issue on the overall reform process in Burma as well as on other countries,” the spokesman said.

US-based members of the Burma Task Force (BTF) reportedly exchanged angry words with a group of Burmese exiles outside the venue of the Aung San Suu Kyi’s address in San Francisco. The exchange concerned the Rohingya issue, a BTF member told The Irrawaddy, and police intervened to diffuse the situation.

Meanwhile, India has announced assistance of US $200,000 for the immediate relief of those affected by the recent violence in the country.

Urging the international community to lift all unilateral sanctions on Burma, the Indian foreign secretary, Ranjan Mathai, said in New York that New Delhi supported the steps taken by the Burmese government with regard to the Rohingya crisis.

“We would also urge that unilateral sanctions should be immediately phased out so that Burma’s economic development can be accelerated. India has consistently emphasized the path of engagement with Burma to encourage the advancement of national reconciliation as well socio-economic development,” he stressed.

Mathai said India has noted the Burmese government’s steps toward restoration of law and order and ensuring peace and stability in the areas affected by the Arakan violence, and in meeting the needs of relief and rehabilitation of all the affected communities.

“The government has also set up a 27-member Investigation Commission comprising people from different walks of life, including members of different religious faiths and political parties, to enquire into the real cause for incidents and to make recommendations,” he said.

“We believe Burma could play a great role in expanding our engagement into Asean. We look forward to Burma’s planned Chairmanship of Asean in 2014,” he said.

“We are facilitating Parliamentary exchanges between the two countries by sharing our experience. We have begun a program of introduction to and training on Parliamentary practices and procedures for members of the Myanmar Parliament and Parliamentary Secretariat officials. As many as 80 members will be covered by this program,” Mathai said.

4 Responses to UN Sec-Gen Backs Thein Sein

  1. The Burmese Freedom Fighter

    Given all these development in Burma reform process to democratic society, the stand of the world body United Nation and friends of Burma countries have made themselves very clear that they are with the people of Burma to say Burma is making its steps right in moving forward for democracy. That is what a friend are for in time of need in this slanderous accusation on Burma by US-based members of Muslim Extremists (BTF) of mass murder, ethnic cleaning and fabrications of Burma image in its careful handling of the crisis in invasion of illegal Bengali.

    What a relief to know the fact that our friends of Burma are well aware of the hidden agenda of Muslim brotherhood, whose intention are not in the path of solution to the crisis but manipulation for its own interest of its hidden agenda, the expansion of Islam in Burma through preemptive violence for its glory.

    Through fear, intimidation and violence won’t help the plight of stateless Bengali aliens but face with failure with the true power of freedom from fear that has been plant in the mindset of Burmese people by their leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in their unfinished struggle for democracy in Burma. The patient and weakness is completely different and Burma is in its path for tolerance that should not be hampered by those religion freak group such as OIC and BTF.  

    The true passion of Burma will prevail with its high moral standard toward unfortunate stateless people Bengali regardless of the destruction of blind faith group. Thanks for all the friends of Burma to be hand in hand with the people of Burma to overcome all these adversity during this Burma reform process to its tolerated, democratic society with security, stability, peace, prosperity, diversity in harmony and high moral standards in its heart.

    The Burmese Freedom Fighter

  2. This is the same man who while serving as Commander in the Triangle Regional Military Command in Kyaingtong, Shan State, (1997–2001) was known to be close to drug lords in the United Wa State Army and Lahu militia officials.

    This is the same man who in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in May 2008,  led the National Disaster Preparedness Central Committee as chairman and was criticized for the government’s systematic blocking of relief efforts. 



  3. Thein Sein lair….your concerted effort for peace in Kachin state means  you are a sky full of lies……launching offensive against KIA…indiscriminate shelling to civilian populated areas…killing innocents …it it true…

    • The Kachin leaders are also responsib in bringing peace to Kachin State. The President is responsible but the Kachin leaders have to agree to work with the present government. Every single war has 2 sides and both sides are responsible in ending the war they have started. So, KIA was working with the most brutal generals, sharing the profits and having a good time for the past 17 years while other minorities were fighting the generals. The disdagreement between the generals and the KIa is so simple. MONEY! KIO leaders must start thinking of the Kachin people if they are sincere enough. Stop telling lies to the world and do something good for Kachin State. I know you are a KIO supporter and are feed by them.

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