Where is the Swedish presence in Burma?
As a response to positive political reforms in Burma, the Swedish government has opened for the possibility of sending development aid to the country. Despite this major investment Sweden still has no active presence in Burma. This worries seven Swedish organisations that operate in the country. The organisations has compiled an open letter to Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and are pressing the matter that in order to implement Sweden’s strategy, official attendance in Burma is of great importance.
The interest in Burma among donors, civil society, organisations and investors are growing rapidly. Therefor it is required by Sweden to follow the development in the country close to be able to in a credible way promote democracy, peace and responsible business, develop trusting relationships with partners and maintaining an active dialogue with the Burmese government and other stakeholders on issues related to human rights. For these purposes a genuine, long-term commitment is crucial, writes Svenska Burmakommittén, Civil Rights Defenders, Svenska Freds, Fonden för mänskliga rättigheter, Palmecentret, Diakonia och Svenska kyrkan.
Much has happened in Burma since the regime-led reform took off in 2011. Hundreds of political prisoners have been released, media censorship eased, and the opposition party NLD allowed to stand for election. Meanwhile, armed conflict has erupted in northern Burma and violence between communities in Rakhine State and escalating anti-Muslim violence as a result. The country faces enormous challenges. International players who want to make a difference must actively monitor what is happening.
Read the letter to Carl Bildt here (swedish) Brev till Carl Bildt angående svensk närvaro i Burma
For more information contact:
Brittis Edman, Programme Director for Southeast Asia, Civil Rights Defenders, 0709-89 00 19, Brittis.firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: bistånd, Carl Bildt, Civil society, Diakonia, Fonden för mänskliga rättigheter, Palmecentret, Svenska Burmakommittén, Svenska Freds, and Svenska kyrkan.