Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi campaigns as US eases one sanction


PATHEIN, MYANMAR - FEBRUARY 7: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi greets the crowds from the top of a vehicle during campaigning in the Delta region on her second campaign trip on February 7, 2012 in Pathein, Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi is beginning her election campaign as an official candidate ahead of the April 1 by-elections. This was the first time in twenty years that Suu Kyi has visited the Delta region. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)


Paula Bronstein

As Aung San Suu Kyi campaigned in Burma, drawing crowds of thousands of supporters, the United States announced the easing of one of its many sanctions against the country, according to the BBC.

Voice of America had the details, saying the State Department announced Monday that it had lifted “opposition to assessments of Burma by international financial institutions.” The lifting of this particular sanction will make easier for Burma to receive aid from the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s candidacy was formally accepted on Monday and she travelled to the Irrawaddy delta for the first time in two decades. According to the Associated Press, more than 10,000 people packed into a stadium to hear her speak as one banner called her “Mother Democracy.”

Aung San Suu Kyi said, “I remember the last time I was here 20 years ago. I see the same kind of support.” She is running for a seat in a poor district in Rangoon, but is campaigning nationally for other members of the National League for Democracy.

More on GlobalPost: Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi will run for parliament (VIDEO)

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that tent cities in China are home to at least 10,000 Burmese refugees, seeking asylum from the military junta. Five aid groups talked to Reuters and said many of the refugees are women, children and the elderly.

There is speculation whether the rapid pace of reforms and democratic concessions in Burma will lure refugees from surrounding countries like Bangladesh, India, Thailand and Malaysia, which together with China house nearly a million refugees. The AP reported, “many refugees say the hatreds, suspicions and double-crosses of past decades must be overcome before they feel safe enough to return.”

More on GlobalPost: Burma frees high-profile dissidents in prisoner amnesty