US senators seek tighter sanctions against Myanmar ahead of elections

March 31st, 2010 - 10:02 am ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar.31 (ANI): Nine American senators have cut across their established political affiliations to demand tighter sanctions against the military regime in Myanmar ahead of elections to be held in that country later in the year.

In a letter to US President Barack Obama, the senators agreed with his administration that election laws have made a “mockery” of democracy, and therefore, there was a need for a more robust response.

“We believe that exercising this authority represents one of the most powerful instruments at our disposal for pressuring Burma’s leaders to change course,” quoted the senators as saying in their letter.

They urged President Obama to appoint a special representative on Myanmar, a position required by law but vacant as senior State Department officials spearhead policy on the reclusive southeast Asian nation.

The Obama Administration initiated a dialogue with the junta last year.

The junta plans to hold elections later this year which most foreign observers believe are aimed at legitimizing its rule.

The main opposition National League for Democracy has decided to boycott the election rather than give in to pressure to oust its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate who is under house arrest.

Besides Republican Mitch McConnell, the letter was also signed by fellow GOP stalwarts John McCain, Sam Brownback, Susan Collins and Judd Gregg.

It was also signed by Democrats Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold and Dianne Feinstein and independent Joe Lieberman. (ANI)

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