A US delegation fronted by Sen. John McCain and Sen. Joseph Lieberman will request that the Burmese government allow international observers to oversee April by-elections, which, if deemed free and fair, will almost certainly see the US remove some sanctions on the Burmese government. “Obviously we will have to look carefully at the process of the elections,” said McCain, who conceded that Burma’s reforms in recent months—including the release of several hundred political prisoners—are “a dramatic change in policy and behaviour in as short a time as a year ago,” he said. McCain confirmed that the delegation, which arrived in Burma on Sunday, would ask Burma’s government to allow international observation of the April by-elections, in response to a question about the issue from this correspondent.
A positive assessment by the observers could pay off for the Burmese government, which refused to allow international monitoring of the November 2010 elections. Removing some sanctions could come after a free and fair April by-election, said Lieberman, who added that “the President can remove some of the sanctions,” but confirmed that others would require a legislative amendment.
“We are watching the changes in Myanmar very carefully” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte, part of the delegation along with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Apart from a few references to Burma, the delegation mostly used “Myanmar” throughout the Q&A with several reporters on Saturday afternoon.
Full Article: US Calls for International Observers at Burma By-elections.