MANILA – The Philippine government is calling on other countries to start considering the lifting of current sanctions against Myanmar after the successful conduct of the by-elections in the formerly military-ruled state.
Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario in a statement said the historic elections, which saw
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi win a seat in the parliament, is enough reason to consider lifting the sanctions.
“With this development, we reiterate the Philippines’ call for the international community to favorably consider the lifting of current sanctions against Myanmar,” said del Rosario.
Military and economic sanctions have long been in placed against Myanmar by the United States (US), Canada and the European Union because of its poor human rights records and slow move towards democracy.
The US sanctions include a ban on imports from Myanmar. Financial transactions and foreign investment in Myanmar were also restricted.
Del Rosario said the call is made based on the first-hand testimony of the Philippine election observer team that the election process last Sunday was orderly, free, and transparent.
“The election process opens Myanmar’s future prospects not only for political reform but consequently for the socio-economic liberalization and advancement of the whole country,” added the Foreign Affairs chief.
He said the full participation of opposition parties in the polls shows that the country is determined to march toward democracy.
“While it may take a few more days before the results can be certified, the real winners of these elections are the Myanmar people and the Myanmar government, under the leadership of President Thein Sein, who together have been able to work together and make this change possible,” said del Rosario.
Last Sunday, Myanmar’s opposition party claimed that pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi had won in her bid for a seat in the parliament along with 43 other members of the National League for Democracy party.
The elections last Sunday is already the second one, with the general elections held in 2010, since the military transformed into a quasi-civilian government two years ago.(HDT/Sunnex)