Met with the President of Burma

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Head of the Oslo Center, Kjell Magne Bondevik, met Saturday with Burma's President, Thein Sein. Bondevik addressed several sensitive and important issues with the President as well as six of his ministers. - We had a good meeting. To me it seems like President Sein is sincere in his reform program, Bondevik says.

Bondevik has been black listed from Burma for years, and his meeting with the President is a new illustration of the changes the country is in the middle of. – We were at first refused to enter, as their black list was not updated in line with the reforms in the country. But after my passport had been through various counters we were luckily let in, Bondevik tells.

Bondevik addressed a number of difficult issues with the President, including the constitution. -The constitution assures the military a number of undemocratic privileges, such as enough seats to safeguard against constitutional changes. In addition has the oath that one must take in Parliament present a problem. I mentioned this and said I was hoping that he, in cooperation with the NLD, could reform the constitution. I felt that he understood and he did not make any counter arguments, Bondevik says.

Bondevik also underlined the necessity that social and economic reforms went hand in hand with political ones. -People must feel that things are advancing. Social and economic rights are essential in that regard, he says.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) Bondevik will meet Aung San Suu Kyi to learn how the Oslo Center best may support her in her new role in the democracy movement.

 

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