Myanmar’s state media Sunday accused US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of interfering with the internal affairs of Southeast Asia and said America’s troops in Asia threatened world security.
Clinton attended Asia’s largest security forum in Thailand last week where she urged Myanmar’s military rulers to set pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi free, dangling the carrot of future business ties.
She also called for democratic reforms in the country and said expelling Myanmar from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) if Suu Kyi was not released would be an “appropriate” measure to consider.
“This is really interfering with ASEAN’s internal affairs,” said the state-run Myanma Ahlin newspaper.
“If ASEAN obeys the United States Secretary of State, ASEAN will be under the United States’ influence,” the comment piece said.
During the meetings in Phuket, Clinton expressed concerns about the possibility that North Korea was transferring weapons and nuclear technology to Myanmar.
However, in what Clinton later described as an “encouraging” move, Myanmar made a surprising show of support for sanctions designed to squeeze North Korea over its nuclear ambitions.
But the Myanma Ahlin article showed little sign of improved relations with the US, criticising its presence in Afghanistan.
“The real danger in the region resides in the US military troops in Asia. They are the ones who threaten the security of the whole world, not just in the region,” it said.
On Friday, the country’s English-language state newspaper The New Light of Myanmar criticised foreign calls for Suu Kyi’s release from Insein prison, saying they showed “reckless disregard for the law”.
But Suu Kyi’s lawyers hailed international calls for her freedom as they gave their closing arguments in a bid to prevent her being jailed for five years on charges of breaching her house arrest rules.
Prosecution lawyers will give their final arguments Monday in the court case, which stems from an incident in which an American man swam to her lakeside home in May.
Suu Kyi has spent most of the last two decades in detention since the junta refused to recognise her party’s victory in elections in 1990.