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Nov 24
Monday

US President stays calm on Myanmar’s Military bosses

Filed under Asia News, Southern Asia

Obama in MyanmarIn the silences as well as the speeches made during President Obama’s recent visit to Myanmar, attentive observers could glimpse a dramatic illustration of the tension between morality and amoral realism in the execution of US foreign policy.

Reading from one script, Obama assured the people of Myanmar that he understood “the process of reform is in no way complete or irreversible.’’ This was his tactful way of saying America has not been duped by Myanmar’s generals and their cronies who have disguised the perpetuation of their power under a patina of democratic pretenses. Obama was hinting to the many victims of Myanmar’s brass that Washington could still halt its pursuit of diplomatic, economic, and military engagement with the resource-rich nation along China’s southern border.

But no sooner had the US president issued his carefully calibrated message than a caucus of military members of Myanmar’s parliament voted to retain articles of a Constitution that guarantees the army a blocking quarter of the seats in that body and prohibits Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi from running for president in 2015 because her children hold foreign (British) citizenship. In essence, the military MPs were calling Obama’s bluff. Continue…


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