UN’s Ban Says Very Pleased with Burmese Democratic Reforms

Posted January 25th, 2012 at 8:35 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is very pleased with the democratic reforms so far in Burma, and that he plans another visit there soon.

Mr. Ban Wednesday said he is encouraged by moves from President Thein Sein, such as freeing political prisoners. He said he and other U.N. diplomats have continuously and patiently carried out public and behind-the-scenes diplomacy with the Burmese government.

The U.N. chief said his previous visits to Burma, along with those from his special advisers, set the stage for international engagement with Burma.

Also Wednesday, a team from the International Monetary Fund, which just concluded a visit to Burma, said the country has the potential of becoming the next economic frontier in Asia. The team urged Burma to remove impediments to growth by liberalizing trade and direct foreign investment, and by modernizing its financial sector.

In recent months, Burma has freed a number of political prisoners, including opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest and now plans to run for parliament. It also has opened peace talks with ethnic rebels and loosened controls on the media.

But critics of Burma say despite the transition from military to civilian rule, Burmese generals still dominate parliament and politics.