Burma, Time for Change: Report of an Independent Task Force Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations

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Council on Foreign Relations, 2003 - Political Science - 62 pages
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A genuine democracy movement lives in Burma, but it continues to be brutally suppressed by the ruling military government. In 1990, the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led by Aung San Suu Kyi-won 82 percent of the seats in a multiparty parliamentary election. The regime ignored the elections and the democratically elected representatives never took office. Aung San Suu Kyi, who was imprisoned after violent government-orchestrated attacks on democracy supporters on May 30, 2003, has spent more than half of the past fourteen years under house arrest. Burma remains one of the most tightly controlled dictatorships in the world. Recognizing that democracy and the NLD cannot survive in Burma without the help of the United Sates and the international community, the Council-sponsored Independent Task Force on Burma sounds a clarion call for change. In response to the governments recent crackdown on the democratic opposition, the Task Force urges the United Nations to call for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners, and to impose sanctions on Burma, including bans both on new investment in Burma and on the importation of goods produced in Burma. The Task Force report also offers specific recommendations for U.S. policy in four areas: humanitarian assistance; promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law; narcotics control policy; and refugees, migrants, and internally displaced persons. Led by Mathea Falco, president of Drug Strategies and former assistant secretary of state for international narcotics matters, this bipartisan Task Force comprises members with a wide range of experience in international business, law, government, media, academia, publichealth, and human rights advocacy, among other areas. Its recommendations are intended to inform U.S. government action as well as to increase U.S. cooperation with other countries, especially in Asia, to bring about a long overdue political, economic, and social transformation of Burma.

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