UK government admits ‘setbacks’ in Myanmar’s reforms

13 March 2015
UK government admits ‘setbacks’ in Myanmar’s reforms
Myanmar President U Thein Sein (L) meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) in 10 Downing Street, London, Britain, July 15, 2013. Photo: San Tan/EPA 

The British Foreign Office claims there are “a number of worrying setbacks” in Myanmar’s reform process, according to a report just released.
The annual human rights report, issued on March 12, talks about “setbacks, which were of significant concern.” 
The British government has actively engaged with the government of President U Thein Sein and provided training for military officers and police personnel.
“2014 saw increasing numbers of political prisoners, conflict in Kachin and Shan, and repression of the media. The early part of the year saw a sharp increase in inter-communal violence in Rakhine State, and the Rohingya community continues to be subject to discriminatory policies and vulnerable to further violence,” the report says.
Ms Anna Roberts, executive director of the Burma Campaign UK commented that it was good to see the British government finally admit that there are serious setbacks with Myanmar’s reform process.
“Despite admitting there are setbacks, they have not announced any change of approach or policy. They are literally doing business as usual. Admitting there is a problem is an essential first step to dealing with a problem, now they need to change their policy, starting with reviewing the assistance they are giving to the authoritarian, military-backed Burmese government,” she said on March 12.