US prepares to finally “democratize” Myanmar


The game is being played with the lifting of sanctions.

Myanmar Foreign Minister visited the United States

The former oppositionist and liberal leader of the National League for Democracy and the informal head of the country, Aung San Suu Kyi, has asked Barack Obama to remove existing restrictions that were previously imposed on the country. During her visit to the White House yesterday, the US State Department immediately issued a statement which stated that Myanmar could be restored in the general preference system which provides for the removal of taxes on goods from poor and developing countries.

First, the lifting of sanctions - then a State Department mission

Barack Obama has openly stated that the lifting of sanctions "will give the United States, our businesses, and our non-profit institutions greater incentive to invest and participate in what we hope will be an increasingly democratic and prosperous partner for us in the region.”

The sanctions are unlikely to be removed without prior guarantees that meet US interests’ priorities, which might include anti-China operations.

The problem of Myanmar’s Muslims

Despite the democratic facade, serious violations of human rights and freedoms based on religious and ethnic grounds are ongoing in Myanmar. About 125,000 Rohingya Muslims are still in camps for displaced persons in Western Myanmar after a series of reprisals intensified in 2012. Several organizations have criticized Aung San Suu Kyi for the fact that she did nothing to change this situation. Most likely, she did not receive a directive on this from the US State Department, so she does not know how to behave.

The particularities of power in Myanmar

Katehon recalls that the president of Myanmar is a close friend and former driver of Aung San Suu Kyi, Htin Kyaw. He is the formal head of the executive body of the government of Myanmar and the head of the Cabinet.

As a former political prisoner, Aung San Suu Kyi could not run for president of the country, since, according to the current constitution, the country’s president cannot be a person whose children are not citizens of Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi’s sons have British citizenship.