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Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009

Birkin seeks Myanmar sanctions


Staff writer

British singer and actress Jane Birkin held a news conference Tuesday in Tokyo to urge the incoming government to pressure Myanmar's military junta to promote democracy.

News photo
Jane Birkin

Birkin, 62, who wrote a song called "Aung San Suu Kyi" and has participated in demonstrations against the junta, is in Tokyo for a concert this week.

She said sanctions should be placed on Myanmar, which has been under military rule for nearly 50 years, but they must be effective because they could also harm ordinary people.

"You're lucky because you've got a new government" and it is a good opportunity for Japanese people to make new demands for supporting Myanmar citizens, Birkin added.

She said ordinary people can help Myanmar by writing a letter to their government or boycotting companies doing business with the junta.

Yuki Akimoto of the Burma Information Network based in Tokyo stressed the importance of supporting local citizens. Japan should focus on helping the people of Myanmar, such as by offering humanitarian support for refugees or assisting in the prevention of infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV, she said.



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