ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
US hopes India raises human rights with Myanmar
Senior General Than Shwe will meet next week with the top brass of neighbouring India, which previously had been a staunch supporter of Myanmar's detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.
"We would encourage India and other countries to send a clear message to Burma that it needs to change its course," US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told AFP, using Myanmar's former name of Burma.
Crowley said the United States believed that all nations which engage the government "share a responsibility to communicate directly and forcefully to Burma about its responsibilities."
Those responsibilities include "protecting the region against the risk of proliferation or telling Burma directly that it should more constructively engage its opposition and other ethnic groups within Burma," Crowley said.
Human rights groups have voiced alarm that the land of non-violence apostle Mahatma Gandhi is rolling out the red carpet for Than Shwe.
But some analysts say that India is concerned about losing strategic ground to China in their mutual neighbour, which has oil and gas resources coveted by growing Asian economies.
The United States, which has growing ties with India, last year launched dialogue with Myanmar after President Barack Obama's administration concluded that years of Western attempts to isolate the regime had failed to bear fruit.
But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made no contact with officials from Myanmar during regional talks this week in Vietnam, Crowley said.
Instead, Clinton publicly reprimanded Myanmar over its human rights record and lack of democracy, urging the military to free political prisoners and to end attacks against ethnic minorities.
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