Burmese Diplomat Defects to U.S.

Posted July 3rd, 2011 at 10:40 pm (UTC-5)
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A top Burmese diplomat working in Washington has told VOA that he is defecting to the United States.

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, dated July 4, Deputy Chief of Mission to the Burma embassy Kyaw Win requests political asylum, saying he fears prosecution if he returns to his homeland because of his efforts to improve bilateral relations and work for democratic reforms in Burma.

Kyaw Win says he had hoped the military would ease its grip on the country, but instead, military officials are consolidating their grip on power and seeking to stamp out the voices of those seeking democracy.

He also urges Clinton to use the political will of the U.S. to investigate human rights violations in Burma and implement highly targeted financial sanctions against the government and the cronies who help keep them in power.

Kyaw Win has a wife and three adult children, all living in the U.S.

He has over 31 years of service in Burma's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.