UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Reform 'work in progress' - archbishop
Says Hillary Clinton's visit a good step but state needs to do moreHillary Clinton meets Myanmar's deputy foreign minister Dr Myo Myint on her arrival in Naypyidaw yesterday
- ucanews.com reporters, Yangon and Mandalay
- December 1, 2011
The comments came on the eve of a historic meeting between the president and Clinton, who arrived in the administrative capital Naypyidaw yesterday.
Archbishop Bo, who also serves as the secretary general of the Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Conference of Myanmar, said today's visit to Myanmar by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signaled that the government had made significant changes but noted that true democratic reform required substantially more effort.
â€śThe government needs to release the remaining political prisoners to show that they are serious about democratic reform,â€ť he told ucanews.com, adding that ceasefire agreements between the military and ethnic minority opposition forces were also urgently needed.
Years of armed conflict have had a devastating impact on the countryâ€™s infrastructure and educational system, Archbishop Bo said.
â€śThrough peace alone can the government bring development to the country and improve education. Without proper education to an international standard, we will remain in the dark.â€ť
He added that a primary concern for the Church, amid more general issues of democratic reform, was access to conflict areas in Myanmar and communities in need of relief assistance, particularly in Kachin state, where fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and government forces has led to the displacement of tens of thousands of residents.
Clinton, the first US secretary of state to visit Myanmar in half a century, arrived after months of discussions among US officials about the significance and extent of reforms in the country, according to a briefing statement issued by the US state department.
â€ś[Clinton] comes with a series of very specific steps that we would like to see in terms of the next phase of the process that is under way inside [Myanmar],â€ť the statement said.
Clinton is to meet Myanmarâ€™s foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, today ahead of a scheduled meeting with President Thein Sein.
â€śWe expect this to be a very thorough review of not only the steps that they have taken, what we expect to see in the future, but the things that the United States is prepared to do in response not only to these preliminary steps, but what might be possible if the process of reform and openness continues,â€ť the statement said.
Clinton will also meet members of the upper and lower houses of parliament today before flying to Yangon, where she will meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, members of the National League for Democracy and representatives of Myanmarâ€™s ethnic minorities, before leaving Myanmar tomorrow.