UN urges eased Myanmar sanctions

2012-04-30 09:40
Naypyidaw - UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged Western nations to drop more Myanmar sanctions, in a show of support for the reformist regime as Aung San Suu Kyi agreed to end a parliamentary dispute.

Ban welcomed moves by the international community to reward sweeping changes in the country since the end of direct army rule last year, in a landmark speech to parliament following talks with President Thein Sein.

"Today, I urge the international community to go even further in lifting, suspending, or easing trade restrictions and other sanctions," he said in the first speech by a foreign dignitary in the fledgling legislature.

Ban's is the latest in a string of high-level international visits to Myanmar amid a thaw in the army-dominated nation's relations with the West, which has begun rolling back sanctions in response to reforms.

His address was not witnessed by Suu Kyi and other newly-elected members of her party, after they last week delayed their debut in the legislature in a row over the swearing-in oath.

But in a dramatic climbdown, the Nobel laureate told reporters at her National League for Democracy (NLD) party headquarters in Yangon on Monday that she would pledge to "safeguard" the army-created constitution.

Thein Sein hailed

"We have decided to comply at this juncture, because we do not want a political problem or tension," she said, ending an impasse seen as the first sign of friction with the government since she won a parliamentary seat in historic 1 April by-elections.

Ban, who is in Myanmar for the first time under the new quasi-civilian government, hailed Thein Sein "for his vision, leadership and courage" in his speech to MPs.

"The dramatic changes sweeping Myanmar have inspired the world. And we know that your ambitions for the future reach higher still," he said from the podium of the palatial parliament building.

He said that he believed the long-isolated country would "quickly regain its place as a respected and responsible member of the international community".

Ban spoke to lawmakers from both chambers, including unelected military officials who hold one quarter of the seats in the legislature, dominated by the army's political allies.

"President Thein Sein and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi have demonstrated the confidence and statesmanship needed to look beyond politics to the larger interests of the nation," he said.

Increased confidence

Ban is due to meet Suu Kyi for the first time during his three-day trip.

It is a far cry from his previous visit in 2009 when the junta dismayed Ban by refusing to allow him to see the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who was under house arrest at the time.

Suu Kyi is now expected to take the oath on Wednesday, according to NLD sources.

"The reason we accept it, firstly is the desire of the people. Our voters voted for us because they want to see us in parliament," she said.

Suu Kyi has shown increased confidence in the reformist government of President Thein Sein in recent weeks, calling for the suspension of EU sanctions and planning her first international trip in 24 years.

Last week, European Union nations put a halt to most sanctions against the impoverished nation for one year to reward a series of dramatic reforms since direct army rule ended last year.

But the United States has ruled out an immediate end to its main sanctions on Myanmar.

Read more on:    un  |  thein sein  |  aung san suu kyi  |  ban ki-moon  |  myanmar

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


It is easy to get bogged down by things today. The Taurus Moon highlights the comforts and pleasures of life. You may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.