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Post-election, How Should the US Engage Myanmar?




A man reads a newspaper promoting elections on November 5, 2010 in Yangon, Burma. (CKN/Getty Images)

A man reads a newspaper promoting elections on November 5, 2010 in Yangon, Burma. (CKN/Getty Images)

Yesterday, Myanmar held the first elections in that country in over 20 years. While almost universally decried as a sham, with no candidates hostile to the junta allowed to participate, the elections will bring about a somewhat different government. Suzanne DiMaggio, Asia Society's director for policy studies, suggested that despite the unfairness of the elections, the US and its allies must not abandon Myanmar.

Writing in CNN, DiMaggio warned the US against pursuing further sanctions, saying: 

 

". . .pressure alone is not likely to bring results. Sanctions have not worked in the past. And while European Union members such as the United Kingdom and France, as well as Canada and Australia have publicly supported a commission of inquiry on Myanmar, key stakeholders in Asia, most notably China and India, have indicated that they will not back such a move.

Given this reality, the United States needs to focus on encouraging whatever government takes hold in Myanmar to move in the direction of openness and reform to improve the dire conditions in the country."

Read her entire piece on CNN