Sanctions must stay in place: Myanmar's Suu Kyi
Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Wednesday that sanctions against the military junta in her country should remain, as the European Union prepares to decide whether to lift the action.
In an interview with German daily Frankfurter Rundschau, the Nobel peace laureate insisted: "Sanctions must remain in place. Sanctions should only be lifted when something has changed here."
The EU is poised to decide in April whether to continue sanctions against the regime for human rights abuses following Suu Kyi's release from house arrest in November.
Last week, EU diplomats held talks with Suu Kyi, 65, about the possibility of lifting Western sanctions, which global think-tank International Crisis Group recently criticised as "counterproductive."
Supporters of the trade and financial sanctions say they are the only way to pressure the military rulers of Myanmar, where there are believed to be about 2,200 political prisoners behind bars.
Despite the restrictions on Western businesses, Asian companies, especially from China, India, Thailand and South Korea, have overlooked the political situation and human rights abuses to invest in resource-rich Myanmar.
Myanmar's first election in 20 years and Suu Kyi's release from house arrest has reignited the debate over the effectiveness of sanctions, which the United States wants to keep in place.
"What has changed since the elections? As I said before: nothing is clear," said the democracy icon.
© 2011 AFP