Subject: Burma "Government In Exile" Seeks Office In East Timor

BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific

April 3, 2009 Burma "Government In Exile" Seeks Office In East Timor

Text of report by Norway-based Burmese Democratic Voice of Burma website, on 2 April

We have learned that the Burmese Government in Exile - National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) - is holding discussions in Dili to get East Timor's official approval for the opening an office in that country.

Timor-Leste President Ramos hosted a luncheon for and had talks with the visiting NCGUB delegation led by Prime Minister Dr Sein Win at the presidential residence in Dili on 30 March.

Accompanying Dr Sein Win were Khun Teddy Buri, president of the Members of Parliament Union, and Cabinet members Dr Tint Swe and U Bo Hla Tint, according to a report posted with photographs on Pale-Thwae Blogspot - an Internet blog of Dr Tint Swe.

Although the blog did not mention what was discussed during the talks, we have learned that the Government in Exile was seeking official permission to have an office in that country. We were also given to understand that the prospects of the NCGUB having an office in Dili, either officially or unofficially, are good.

We have so far been unable to get in touch with NCGUB Prime Minister Dr Sein Win and his delegation in Dili.

Timor-Leste President Ramos was the leading figure in the East Timor diplomatic movement during the efforts to liberate the country from Indonesia. During that time, in 1993, Ramos also visited the Karen National Union Headquarters in Manerplaw, which is also the stronghold of the Burmese dissidents.

When East Timor gained its independence from Indonesia and became a territory protected by the United Nations in 1999, Ramos officially invited the NCGUB to establish an office there.

The NCGUB, which did not respond to that offer and was absent from the Independence Ceremony of East Timor, was criticized by the opposition movement in exile.

Timor-Leste President Ramos, who has persistently supported the Burmese democracy movement, opposes the economic sanctions imposed [on Burma] by Western countries.

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma website, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 2 Apr 09

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