US seeks support from Indonesia
on Myanmar

The United States plans to seek more advice from Indonesia to effectively dealing with the military-ruled Myanwar, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday in Jakarta.

"We are going to work closely and we are going to consult with Indonesia," Clinton said after meeting with Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda late in the afternoon.

Clinton said the United States applauded Indonesia for working, both bilaterally and through ASEAN, for better future of the Myanmar people.

She said it has been difficult to address the problems in Myanmar, who seemed impervious to any influence from anyone.

"Imposing sanction has not influence the junta ... reaching out and trying to engage has not influence them either," she said.

Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962. The current junta came to power in 1988 after crushing pro-democracy demonstrations and killing as many as 3,000 people. It called elections in 1990 but refused to honor the results when pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi  political party won overwhelmingly.

Speaking alongside Clinton, Wirajuda said that from its experience, Indonesia considered it would be best to address the problem in Myanmar in a wider context, not only in issues of lack
of democracy and human rights.

Hassan said it would be better to address the Myanmar problem on the base of its territorial integrity and sovereignty issues.

"The concern of Myanmar on the notion of their territorial integrity and national sovereignty, [are] real problems to them, and [also] the economic and humanitarian situations they are
currently suffer," he said.

Hassan also said that the fact that Myanmar had ratified the ASEAN Charter would also be a good entry to tackle the human rights issue and freedom issues.

In July last year, Myanmar ratified the  ASEAN Charter, which commits members to strengthening democracy, enhancing good governance and the rule of law, and promoting human rights and basic freedoms. (dre)

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