Burma has finally decided to release numerous political inmates of which some have been held for decades. This is one of many recent gestures to the west, which involve legalizing labor unions, opening a dialogue with the main opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and signing a ceasefire with Karen insurgents in order to get the west to remove economic sanctions.
In return, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has responded by agreeing to exchange ambassadors as a sign of seeking greater cooperation with Burma. Although this act shows that all the parties involved are interested in improved relations, no further action has been committed as of yet to actually remove the economic sanctions which prevent general business with Burma. The lack of actually removing the sanctions just yet is possibly because of the western nations’ attitude to wait and see how the situation develops.
Nonetheless, Human Right’s Watch has dubbed this as a “crucial development” in human rights although they note there are still political prisoners being held that have not been released.
By: Jimmy Zhou