The United Nationalities Alliance, which represents leaders from many of Burma’s major ethnic groups, has released an open letter addressed to the U.S. President Barack Obama urging him to be cautious in America’s relations with the military-backed government of Burma.
The letter comes on the heels of Barack Obama’s visit to the once isolated country. The US President’s 6-hour visit included a meeting with Burma’s leader, U Thein Sein, to discuss the ongoing democratisation of Burma.
The UNA’s statement outlined four key issues that are of concern to Burma’s ethnic minority groups. The statement said.
“We believe that only getting ceasefire agreements with armed groups does not guarantee lasting peace until and unless political problems are solved with political means throughout political dialogue and negotiation.”
“We believe that it is still early to lift all the sanctions imposed while in a transition period as hundreds of political prisoners still remain in jail.” The statement said.
“The democratization of Burma is just [at] the beginning. All the people of Burma do not enjoy democratic rights yet. There needs to be more accountability and transparency.”
The statement concluded.
“We want and have been fighting for a genuine federal union in which rule of law, equality, self-determination and human rights are restored… for all ethnic nationalities of Burma.”
The organisations represented by the United Nationalities Alliance include: Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD),Arakan League for Democracy (ALD), Mon Democracy Party (MDP), Zomi Congress for Democracy (ZCD), Shan State Kokang Democratic Party (SSKDP), Kachin State National Congress for Democracy (KNCD), Kayin National Congress for Democracy (KNCD)