Monday, November 5, 2007

Asean asked to reconsider financial ties with Burma

The Nation
by Supalak G Khundee

The United States has asked Asean members to reconsider its financial relationship with the Burmese military junta as part of the mounting pressure on the regime to move forward to democracy.

"We ask them to think about their financial relationship with Burma and to ensure whether their banks are being used to shelter the financial assets of the Burmese regime," said Kristen Silverberg, US State Department's Assistant Secretary, Bureau of international Organisation Affairs.

Silverberg was in Thailand Monday for the last leg of her Asian tour which also took her to China and Vietnam to address the Burma issue.

In Bangkok, she met Foreign Ministry's PermanentSecretary Virasakdi Futrakul and incoming Asean Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan.

Washington has imposed sanctions on the military regime after a severe crackdown against massive street protests in September. The European Union and Australia have agreed to the US approach. The Americans are hoping many governments will do the same to put more pressure on the regime.

"This is no time for 'business as usual' with the Burmese regime," Silverberg said in a briefing with a selective group of media.

No comments: