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US backs creation of UN war crimes commission against Myanmar

The Obama administration on Wednesday said it supports the creation of an independent United Nations Commission of Inquiry into alleged war crimes in Myanmar.

Washington: The Obama administration
on Wednesday said it supports the creation of an independent United
Nations Commission of Inquiry into alleged war crimes in

"The US supports establishing an international
commission to investigate alleged war crimes and
crimes against humanity in Burma ," Benjamin Chang, Deputy
Spokesperson of the US National Security Council, told agency.
"We have begun to consult with a broad array of
stake holders, key players, other countries, regional /
multilateral authorities to reach this goal," Chang said and
added that this decision is consistent with the Obama
Administration`s policy of engagement.

The decision to set up a war crime commission is
primarily targeted at the Burmese ruler? Senior General Than

The decision comes within days of the Burmese
military junta going ahead with its unilateral decision to
announce the dates for the general elections in November,
ignoring the concerns of the international community.

The news was first reported by The Washington Post
and The Foreign Policy magazine.

"What`s important here is that this is not aimed at
the people of Burma but at its leadership, particularly at
Than Shwe," a senior administration official was quoted as
saying by The Washington Post.

Chang said the move is consistent with the US policy
of engagement with Burma.

"We don`t see diplomacy as a reward: it`s a tool that
we hope will have results," he said.

Several Burmese organisations have supported it.

"This is the right and timely action by the Obama
administration responding to the power hungry and brutal
military generals in Nay Pyi Taw, who are seeking to wipe
clean their bloody hands and obtain undeserved legitimacy
through a sham constitution put into effect through a sham
election," said Aung Din, executive director of the US
Campaign for Burma.

"This is a clear message that the United States will
not recognise the generals` show-case election and will hold
them accountable for their human rights abuses against their
own citizens, especially against ethnic minorities of Burma,"
Aung Din continues.
Nearly a year after the Secretary of State, Hillary
Clinton, announced America`s new Burma policy, US officials
have been of late publicly expressing their disappointment
that the two rounds of US-Burma official level talks has not
yielded any results.

"The Burmese regime continues to hold many political
prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi. The regime also
restricts the basic rights and freedoms of Burma?s people,"
the State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, had said last

The Obama Administration is also considering
tightening financial sanctions against the regime as part of
an effort to force it to open its authoritarian political
system and free thousands of political prisoners, reported The
Washington Post.


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