PoliticalNews.me - Jan 15,2012 - STATEMENT BY SENATOR McCAIN ON THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS BY PRESIDENT THEIN SEIN
Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement on the release of political prisoners by President Thein Sein and other developments:
“The release of hundreds of political prisoners by President Thein Sein is a significant positive development. Those individuals now freed include many long-serving, high-profile, and courageous champions of democracy, whom I and others in the international community have consistently urged the government to release. I hope the release of these men and women demonstrates that President Thein Sein’s government is committed to continuing to fulfill all of its promises of democratic reform. I urge the leadership in Nay Pyi Taw to release all of the remaining prisoners of conscience in the country as soon as possible.
“I am also encouraged by reports of a ceasefire agreement between the government and the Karen National Union. Implementing such an agreement would be an important step forward in helping the country end its long-running internal conflicts, which have destroyed the lives of countless people. Democratic reform can only be a reality when the entire country is at peace and all of its citizens, especially ethnic minorities, no longer live in fear of violence and abuse.
“In light of these positive steps, I welcome Secretary Clinton’s announcement that the United States will now begin the process of normalizing diplomatic relations with the government in Nay Pyi Taw, including the exchange of Ambassadors. I will be traveling with a Congressional delegation to Southeast Asia next week, which will include visits to Nay Pyi Taw and Rangoon. I look forward to continuing my discussions with government leaders and Aung San Suu Kyi about the next steps of their country’s development and how the United States, especially the Congress, can support this process of change.”