Thailand Sharply Rebukes US Policy On Myanmar

Thailand’s Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama told the United States its sanctions against Burma will not lead to any productive outcome and there is need for refocusing its policy toward a more multi-national process. He presented his views to Secretary of State Rice during a visit to Washington in response to her belief that exerting pressure on Burma will be successful. Mr. Noppadon told Rice that American policies of pressure will only result in furthering the drug trade and illegal labor seeking jobs in neighboring nations such as Thailand. “We have to help Burma and engage them” he insisted, rather than isolating the inner thinking Burma military junta.

Foreign Minister Noppadon believes “China and India should be invited to these talks since both countries can play a constructive role peersuading Burma to show better development.” He hit on the key issue of how best to aid the struggle of Burma’s people for greater freedom– persuading India and China to become part of the effort of changing the military junta’s attitude. American sanctions will have no impact on Burma unless they are part of a multi-national program which includes those nations which can exert the greatest leverage on the Myanmar government. At this point in time, the United States is not an important player in the lives of Burmese leaders. Sad, but true.