LISBON (Thomson Financial) – Protests in Myanmar could lead to a ‘peaceful evolution’ if the international community stresses the need for dialogue rather than threats, the UN special rapporteur to Myanmar said today.
There has to be ‘a position of firmness but of dialogue’ towards the junta, and ‘now is not the time to make threats,’ special rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said in New York, quoted by Portuguese news agency Lusa.
‘I would not qualify the protests as a popular uprising and I see no possibility that they will precipitate a change of regime,’ he said.
But they ‘may allow a positive evolution of the regime in the sense of a greater opening up’ if it is well dealt with by the international community, he added.
‘There is no other alternative to dialogue to avoid the danger of a crisis’ and to ‘avoid a brutal crackdown with very negative consequences for the country and for the region.’
He said the visit of the UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari to Myanmar was ‘a good signal’ of a ‘small opening up by the government for dialogue.’
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