Myanmar president adheres to reforms

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Obama Thein SeinMyanmar President Thein Sein met with US President Barack Obama on May 20 at the White House in Washington D.C., pledging his government’s commitment to democratic reforms, an end to sectarian strife and a cease-fire with ethnic rebels on the country’s borderlands.

The historic visit was the first time a Myanmar head of state had been received by a US president since former Prime Minister U Ne Win visited former President Lyndon Johnson in 1966, 47 years ago.

“We are trying hard to end Myanmar’s isolation,” President Sein said at a speech at John Hopkins University.

The Myanmar president continued to say that he believes his country can mount challenges needed in this crucial period of transition, despite “spoilers” in Myanmar “who see their interests threatened.”

Controversially, President Obama used the word Myanmar when meeting with Sein, a symbolic moment that made his the first US president to say the name, an act that roused up opposition groups and human rights activists. Previously, the US had been a staunch supporter of labeling the country Burma in protest of the name change that was undergone by the former ruling military junta.

In response, the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said that the use of Myanmar did not represent a shift in policy, but was done an act of courtesy for the visiting head of state, and is acceptable to use in such contexts.

At the White House, President Obama praised President Sein for leading in country in a “new direction” and addressing the communal conflict within the borders.

However, Obama also raised concerns over continued violence against Rohingya Muslims in western Rakhine State.

While the rapid removal of sanctions placed by the US against Myanmar has been opened up commerce and investment, the US still forbids imports of ruby and jade from Myanmar, as well as doing business with military-owned companies.

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Myanmar President Thein Sein met with US President Barack Obama on May 20 at the White House in Washington D.C., pledging his government’s commitment to democratic reforms, an end to sectarian strife and a cease-fire with ethnic rebels on the country’s borderlands.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Obama Thein SeinMyanmar President Thein Sein met with US President Barack Obama on May 20 at the White House in Washington D.C., pledging his government’s commitment to democratic reforms, an end to sectarian strife and a cease-fire with ethnic rebels on the country’s borderlands.

The historic visit was the first time a Myanmar head of state had been received by a US president since former Prime Minister U Ne Win visited former President Lyndon Johnson in 1966, 47 years ago.

“We are trying hard to end Myanmar’s isolation,” President Sein said at a speech at John Hopkins University.

The Myanmar president continued to say that he believes his country can mount challenges needed in this crucial period of transition, despite “spoilers” in Myanmar “who see their interests threatened.”

Controversially, President Obama used the word Myanmar when meeting with Sein, a symbolic moment that made his the first US president to say the name, an act that roused up opposition groups and human rights activists. Previously, the US had been a staunch supporter of labeling the country Burma in protest of the name change that was undergone by the former ruling military junta.

In response, the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said that the use of Myanmar did not represent a shift in policy, but was done an act of courtesy for the visiting head of state, and is acceptable to use in such contexts.

At the White House, President Obama praised President Sein for leading in country in a “new direction” and addressing the communal conflict within the borders.

However, Obama also raised concerns over continued violence against Rohingya Muslims in western Rakhine State.

While the rapid removal of sanctions placed by the US against Myanmar has been opened up commerce and investment, the US still forbids imports of ruby and jade from Myanmar, as well as doing business with military-owned companies.

 

 

 

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