What Obama needs to realise
November 16, 2009, 12:47 am
Filed under: APEC, Burma, By Rachel Zeng, Obama

kyi1“Despite years of good intentions, neither sanctions by the US nor engagement of others have succeeded in improving the lives of Burmese people,” said Obama during the APEC meeting in Singapore according to the report by the Guardian.

Now I hope that Obama will not lift the US sanction on Burma. Instead, he needs to realise that because of countries like China, India and Singapore who are supporting the junta with their investments and diplomatic ties, the US has not been making a huge impact for change in Burma.

What Obama probably needs to do is to work with countries investing and having trade ties with the Burmese military junta to pressurise them into coming up with conditional trading ties for example, free the political prisoners and reviewing the constitution before supplying them trade or aid of any kind.

Making statements asking the junta to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is one thing that anyone can do. But to reinforce that demand with further actions and getting solidarity from the rest of the world will hold much more of an impact I think.

Recommended reading materials:

Foreign Investment – About Burma

Shwe Gas Project fact sheet (pdf)

Foreign Investment in Burma: Analysing the Statistics

Singapore, a friend indeed to Burma (Old one but still valid til today)

Burma-Singapore Axis: Globalising the Heroin Trade (Another old article)