Recognition of the daunting challenges still facing a democratically emboldened Burma was a focal point of the first public remarks on Tuesday by new US Ambassador Scot Marciel, whose country counts the Southeast Asian nation’s political transition among its foreign policy successes.
Ongoing conflict between the Burma Army and ethnic rebel groups, simmering religious tensions and a Constitution that entrenches the military’s role in politics were among the concerns that Washington would continue to expect progress on in the years ahead, said Marciel, speaking to media and civil society groups in Rangoon.
“A lot has changed,” he said, referring to this year’s historic transfer of power from the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) to the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
“But our goal, the United States’ goal, remains the same: We want to see a peaceful, prosperous, democratic Myanmar. One whose people live in harmony and enjoy full rights.”
On those fronts, Washington feels there is room for improvement over the NLD’s expectations-laden term, which began last month, though the American ambassador made a point to stress that it was not for the United States to determine “internal” matters such as how best to end decades of civil war in Burma’s frontier regions.
Full story: Irrawady
Myanmar/Burma political news and updates.
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