Soros Calls for Indonesia to Support UN Myanmar Resolution

JAKARTA ~ Billionaire US philanthropist George Soros appealed this week for Indonesia to support a UN resolution against the military junta in Myanmar.

Speaking in front of the Indonesian parliamentary caucus on Myanmar on Tuesday, Soros said they should pressure the government to step up diplomatic efforts for freedom in Myanmar.

“It is very frustrating: you have a junta that is clearly difficult to influence because they do not care what other parts of the world would think,” he said.

“In this case I am in line with (President George W.) Bush’s policy,” he said, referring to Washington’s trade and investment bans on Myanmar in protest at the regime’s dismal human rights record and refusal to adopt democratic reforms.

Soros said Myanmar would benefit economically from a more democratic government as the country was “sitting on (rich) natural resources, particularly gas, which can be a good flow of money.”

The Indonesian parliamentary caucus on Myanmar is part of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations initiative to advocate human rights and democratic reform in Myanmar.

Myanmar said in November that a UN resolution against the junta would “destroy the peace” and accused the Security Council of trying to interfere in its domestic affairs.

Indonesia will take up its two-year seat on the UN Security Council in January 2007.

The outgoing US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said in November that he would introduce a draft Security Council resolution lambasting Myanmar’s military junta as a “threat” to regional peace and security.

Hungarian-born Soros is the chairman of the Open Society Institute, which aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights and economic, legal and social reform.

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