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Burmese military defector says diplomacy unlikely to succeed

Oct 18, 2007 (DVB), Former major Aung Lynn Htut, who defected to the US in 2005, has called for stronger action against the Burmese authorities, alleging that a United Nations official has provided support to help the military regime withstand diplomatic pressure.

In a letter written on 16 October, Aung Lynn Htut alleges that vice-senior general Maung Aye was introduced to an unspecified high-ranking United Nations official in New York in 1995, who then became an advisor to the ruling State Peace and Development Council on UN relations.

Aung Lynn Htut claims the UN official travelled to Burma two or three times at the regime's expense to advise them on international diplomacy.

The consequence of this, according to Aung Lynn Htut, is that the Burmese regime has been able to initiate a "diplomatic offensive" and has used political spin and alliances with China and Russia to avoid UN action against them.

The accuracy of Aung Lynn Htut's claims could not be verified.

Claiming that the SPDC would not respond to non-binding or diplomatic measures, Aung Lynn Htut said that the regime fears only physical force, and is unaffected by threats of sanctions because they would not be supported by China and Russia.

Aung Lynn Htut is a former major in the Burmese military, having served in Light Infantry Battalion No 81 from 1979 to 1983 and then with the Military Intelligence Service. In March 2005 he defected to the US, where he had been posted as deputy chief of mission at the Burmese embassy in Washington DC.

Reporting by DVB

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