Updated: July 15, 2013 09:06 PM GMT
President Thein Sein meet UK Prime Minister David Cameron (picture: Andrew Cowie/AFP)
President Thein Sein of Myanmar promised yesterday to release all political prisoners by the end of this year, in a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London.
Thein Sein is on his first trip to the UK. He met with Cameron on Monday, who said greater action was need on human rights. He reserved particular concern for the violence towards Rohingya Muslims, the BBC reported last night.
“By the end of the year there will be no prisoners of conscience in Myanmar,” Thein Sein said afterwards, adding that a special committee had been set up to review each individual case.
In a statement on his website ahead of the talks, the Myanmar leader also addressed the Buddhist-Muslim violence in Rakhine state, which has left more than 200 dead and tens of thousands forced into refugee camps.
The president, who has won praise for his reform drive after six decades of military rule in Myanmar, said he had disbanded the feared border security force in Rakhine state, NaSaKa, which was accused of rights violations in the conflict.
The focus of the talks at 10 Downing Street was trade and military ties. The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that a defense attaché was to be appointed to the British embassy in Yangon.
Myanmar military staff would be given training in human rights and the laws of armed conflict by British officers, it said.
This followed a request from the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and a visit to Myanmar by General Sir David Richards, chief of the British defence staff, it added.
….As we enter the first months of 2022, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.