July 12, 2013

Burma Briefing No. 27

This briefing provides revealing quotes, past and present, from Burma’s President Thein Sein.

There is a growing disparity between the words of Thein Sein, and the actions of his government. However, the policy of Britain, the EU, USA and many other countries appears to be based on his promises, not actual policy and action. Promises and pledges by Thein Sein are frequently cited as one of the justifications for ending international pressure and normalising relations. When Thein Sein says something positive, he is praised, when he says something negative, such as saying he wants to expel all Rohingya from Burma, there is a resounding silence from the international community.

Thein Sein is normally very careful in what he says. Western educated advisors help him in particular with scripts for delivering messages to the international community. There also appears to be a pattern of tailoring certain messages in English for international consumption, and other messages in Burmese for domestic consumption. However, sometimes the truth slips out.

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