Myanmar would serve as a model for others: US

US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Mike Hammer hailed the current Myanmar leadership for unleashing series of reforms.

Updated: Jul 30, 2012, 16:47 PM IST

Washington: Praising the current Myanmar leadership for unleashing series of democratic and economic reforms, the Obama Administration hopes that this would serve as an eye opener and a model for other authoritarian regimes of the world.

"It (reforms in Myanmar) is a signal also to those regimes who remain isolated and outside the international community of nations because of their thuggishness and brutality," the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Mike Hammer, told foreign journalists here.

"So I think that there are benefits that Burma (now Myanmar) can reap from moving in this direction that hopefully will be a model for others who are exercising dictatorships and who are not allowing their people to evolve in a democratic way, that there`s something good that can most certainly come by being included as part of members of the international community," Hammer said in his interaction with reporters at the Washington Foreign Press Centre.

Responding to questions, Hammer said it is quite encouraging in terms of seeing the opening that Myanmar appears to be undertaking in terms of reforms and the kind of path that the international community has been hoping to see for Myanmar for many, many years.

"While we are clear-eyed that this is just the beginning, we are certainly encouraged by the steps that are being taken by the Burmese Government. As you know, we have sent our Ambassador. Ambassador (Derek) Mitchell is now on the ground and working these issues.”

"And we want to try to continue to encourage the positive trend and ensuring that every group`s rights are respected and that people will have an opportunity to express themselves democratically going forward," he said.

Hammer said that`s the kind of effort the US wants to see. He said even the most extreme should rethink where they are.

"They`re on the wrong side of history. History will demonstrate it. And they`re bound not to last," he noted.

"I think it shows from recent world events that when people have had enough, it`ll make itself clear in that governments need to be responsive to the needs of their people, or over time they will be held accountable and will go into the dustbin of history if they don`t do what is necessary to, again, respect the rights of their people and to allow them to have the economic opportunity and political freedoms that all human beings desire," the State Department official said.

Expressing his concern over the recent violent incidents in Myanmar, Hammer said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the opportunity to meet with the Myanmar President Thein Sein on July 13, and discussed this issue of concern in terms of these violent incidents.

"We are urging calm, we are certainly urging the Burmese Government to investigate these attacks, and to bring those responsible to justice and through due process and expeditiously.”

"Again, it`s an issue that is of concern, that I`m sure also our Ambassador will be following up with, with the Burmese Government," he said.

"We want to make sure that all ethnic groups in Burma are able to live in peace and that there`s respect for minority rights, even as they try to move forward in hopefully establishing a true democratic path," Hammer said.