Snap-O Fact #49
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Under President Obama's Leadership Human Rights In Burma Have Unexpectedly Advanced


Abstract
In Myanmar (aka Burma), there have been "flickers of progress" since new civilian leadership led by Mrs. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi took power in March, 2011. In May, President Thein Sein announced the release of 20,000 prisoners. Only about 45 of those released were considered political prisoners, however. In November, seizing an opportunity for historic progress President Barack Obama dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the long-isolated nation in an attempt to accelerate fledgling reforms. Clinton was the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Myanmar in more than 50 years. The move is the most dramatic sign yet of an evolving relationship between the United States and Myanmar, which has suffered under brutal military rule for decades. Myanmar is subject to wide-ranging trade, economic and political sanctions from the U.S. and other Western nations, enforced in response to brutal crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters in 1988 and 2007 and its refusal to hand power to Suu Kyi's party after the 1990 elections. Secretary Clinton indicated that the United States remains concerned about Burma's closed political system, its treatment of ethnic minorities and holding more than 1,000 political prisoners, and its relationship with North Korea. Burmese leaders assured Clinton that progress would continue and broaden. And as it does, the United States will actively support those, both inside and outside of government, who genuinely seek reform.

Sources:

"Clinton to Visit Myanmar as Obama Takes Stand on Human Rights", truth-out.org, Truthout, 13 December 2011
http://www.truth-out.org/clinton-visit-myanmar-obama-takes-stand-human-rights/1321628868

“President Obama On Burma", voa.com, Voice of America, 11-26-2011
http://www.voanews.com/policy/editorials/asia/President-Obama-On-Burma--134535168.html

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi", nytimes.com,The New York Times, December 13, 2011
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/a/daw_aung_san_suu_kyi/index.html?scp=1-spot&sq=Daw%20Aung%20San%20Suu%20Kyi&st=cse"

“Time For All Burma's Political Prisoners To Be Released”, voa.com, Voice of America, 14 December 2011
http://www.voanews.com/policy/editorials/asia/Time-For-All-Burmas-Political-Prisoners-To-Be-Released--132071463.html

“Clinton In Burma”, voa.com, Voice of America, 12-06-2011
http://www.voanews.com/policy/editorials/asia/Clinton-In-Burma--135133533.html