Suu Kyi's party urges West to maintain sanctions on Burma

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Rangoon, Feb 8 (ANI): The party of the Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said that Western sanctions should be maintained in the country, refuting some analysts' opinion that restrictions hurt common people.

The Independent quoted the National League for Democracy as saying in a statement that its own research into the impact of sanctions have found that restrictions hit the military regime, but not the ordinary population.

The NLD's complete findings would reportedly be released today.

The paper quoted Tin Oo, the NLD vice-chairman, as saying that his party has been consulting with economists and ordinary people about the implications of Western sanctions in Burma.

"We came to find that the sanctions affect only the leaders of the ruling regime and their close business associates, not the majority of the people," Tin said.

The party's senior officials also said that while they believed independent travellers should visit Burma, they did not support mass tourism projects such as cruise liners, which provided "a lot of money for the regime".

Suu Kyi and her party have long been supporting sanctions as a key tool in establishing democracy, and forcing the junta to improve its human rights records.

Last year, when Suu Kyi was released from seven years' house arrest, she had requested briefings with Western diplomats on the impact of sanctions. (ANI)

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