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Burma's Media: US Wrong to Impose Sanctions - 2003-08-12


Burma has criticized the United States for its decision to impose economic sanctions against its military government in a bid to win freedom for detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burma's state-run media said Monday the U.S. sanctions will hurt Burmese citizens and hamper the nation's transition to democracy. The news report (published in the official "New Light of Myanmar" newspaper) says Burma will never let its independence and sovereignty be influenced by other nations.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Thailand, the United Nations envoy to Burma, Razali Ismail, says he will do everything he can to persuade Rangoon to accept a Thai plan for democratic reform.

He also urged China to take a bigger role in persuading Burma to free Aung San Suu Kyi. China is one of Burma's biggest trading partners.

Mr. Razali spoke after meeting with Thai officials on the Thai plan known as the "road-map." Most of the plans details have not been disclosed, but it would include an international forum to discuss solutions for Burma. The Burmese government has given the plan a less-than-enthusiastic reception, but has not publicly rejected it.

Thailand is looking for Asian and Western nations to support its plan.

The United States, Canada and the European Union have imposed stiff sanctions against the Burmese military government, while Rangoon's largest donor -- Japan -- has suspended new economic aid.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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