Burma Defector a 31-Year Career Diplomat

Posted July 4th, 2011 at 12:35 am (UTC-5)
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Kyaw Win, Burma's number two diplomat, who defected to the United States on Monday, is a career diplomat who has worked for Burma's Foreign Ministry for 31 years.

During that time, he served in Madrid, Geneva, New Delhi, Brasilia and Washington.

Kyaw Win has held the position of Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington since 2008. The position is the highest posting a civilian can hold in Burmese embassies.

However, he says his work reaching out to the diplomatic, governmental and non-governmental communities in Washington may have made him a target of the government he represents, adding that he fears prosecution should he return to Burma.

He says he now supports an international inquiry into accusations of human rights violations by the Burma military including murder, torture, rape, forced labor and the use of child soldiers.

His message for Burma's military is “not to fear democracy, but embrace it as the only way forward.”

Kyaw Win has a wife, an adult daughter and two adult sons, all living in the United States.