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Clinton calls for talks in Myanmar

Subject: Clinton calls for talks in Myanmar (The Hindu, 27/11/96.)

Clinton calls for talks in Myanmar 
The Hindu, 27/11/96.
>From V. jayanth 
SINGAPORE, Nov. 26. 
In the last lap of his Asian tour, the U.S. President, Mr. Bill 
Clinton. today utilised his 26-hour visit to Thailand to deliver 
his message on Myanmar - which he still calls Burma. 
Speaking at a special Chulalongkorn University convocation in 
Bangkok, where he also received an honorary doctorate, Mr. 
Clinton called for a "true political dialogue" and a "Government 
more acceptable to the people." That he made the speech 
virtually at Myanmar's doorstep made it more significant. 
Mr. Clinton appealed to all countries in the Asia Pacific region 
to continue to "pressure" the military regime in Myanmar.  He 
said every nation had an interest in a "true political dialogue" in 
that country. 
Singling out the pro-democracy leader, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, 
for her struggle, the U.S. President said she had reminded the 
world that "these desires know no boundaries" and were 
"fundamentally human." It was, therefore, necessary for 
countries in the region to keep up their pressure on the military 
Mr. Clinton also referred to the developments in Cambodia and 
Mongolia and argued that they had shown that change was 
possible even under those difficult conditions.  And Ms. Suu 
Kyi had raised the very same issues. 
Since the visiting President was so preoccupied with trade and 
its liberalisation during this Asian journey, the issue of Myanmar 
was perhaps reserved for this last stop - the immediate 
neighbour of the military junta. 
Arriving in Bangkok last night, on his way back to the U.S. 
after the APEC summit in the Philippines, Mr. Clinton was in 
Thailand as a guest of King Bhumibol Adulyatej, who is 
celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ascension to the throne.  
The King hosted a special banquet for the Clintons tonight. 
Mr. Clinton and the caretaker Prime Minister, Mr. Banharn 
Silpa-archa, signed a bilateral agreement for the avoidance of 
double taxation.  Mr. Banharn called on the visiting leader this 
morning and his successor, Gen.  Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, also 
had a meeting with Mr. Clinton today. 
Analysts say Myanmar is not likely to be worried by such 
statements from Mr. Clinton, because the military junta has 
already described Ms. Suu Kyi and her movement as "puppets" 
or tools of imperialists and the Western super power which 
wanted to "influence" Myanmar. 
The Chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council 
and Prime Minister of Myanmar, Senior Gen.  Than Shwe, has 
confirmed that he will be attending Saturday's informal summit 
of Southeast Asian leaders in Jakarta. 
It remains to be seen if the ASEAN leaders, who have invited 
their potential members, colleagues to attend this consultation, 
use the occasion to prod the military junta in Myanmar to open 
a dialogue.