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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 104

US welcome Burma's Announcement To Release All Political Prisoners By The End Of This Year

By K.T.Rajasingham
Washington DC, 17 July, (Asiantribune.com):

The United States of America have welcomed Burma’s President Thein Sein’s July 15th speech in London in which he declared that all remaining political prisoners will be released by the end of 2013.

State Department spokesperson Mr. Ventrell responding to a question said, “We encourage the government to continue to work expeditiously through the political prisoner review committee to release all political prisoners unconditionally and to remove conditions placed on those released to date. And to prevent the arrest of new political prisoners or the re-arrest of prisoners released conditionally, we urge the government to undertake comprehensive legal reform in line with international human rights standards.”

It was further added that, “So broadly speaking, as you know, on Burma, we welcome President Thein Sein’s comments and his commitment to promoting a multicultural, multi-faith nation, and taking a zero-tolerance approach to violence. So indeed, we welcome those comments in London.”

Earlier President Thein Sein on July 15 said "By the end of the year there will be no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar," Thein Sein told an audience at the Chatham House think tank in London. A special committee was reviewing every political prisoner's case, he added.

The president, who met the British prime minister, David Cameron, earlier on Monday, said: "It's possible there will be a nationwide ceasefire in the coming weeks. It would be the first time in 60 years that the guns fall silent." Last month his government signed a peace deal aimed at ending the final ethnic conflict.

He also said, Burma did not want to become aid dependent, but needed help to weather a transition period.
Thein Sein was on a two-day visit to Britain to talk trade, aid and democracy before travelling on to France.

Burma's president promised on Monday to release all political prisoners by the end of this year and said he thought a nationwide ceasefire was possible for the first time in six decades.

"By the end of the year there will be no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar," Thein Sein told an audience at the Chatham House thinktank in London. A special committee was reviewing every political prisoner's case, he added.

The president, who met the British prime minister, David Cameron, earlier on Monday, said: "It's possible there will be a nationwide ceasefire in the coming weeks. It would be the first time in 60 years that the guns fall silent." Last month his government signed a peace deal aimed at ending the final ethnic conflict.

The president said Burma did not want to become aid dependent, but needed help to weather a transition period.

Thein Sein is on a two-day visit to Britain to talk trade, aid and democracy before travelling on to France.

In the meantime at the Daily Press briefing held at the US Statement when questioned whether US have any figures regarding the total number of political prisoners held in prison and what is the U.S. estimate of the number of political prisoners in Burma?

The spokesperson Mr. Ventrell said: I don’t have a U.S.-specific estimate. Civil society groups have estimated approximately 200 political – remaining political prisoners. But I don’t have sort of a U.S. Government assessment one way or another.

- Asian Tribune -

President Thein Sein   on  July 15 said   Thein Sein told an audience at the Chatham House think tank in London about the release of all political prisoners.
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