Tuesday Erik Solheim, the Norwegian minister of the Environment and International Development repeatet his statement of ending the international boycott against the military leaders of Burma in a commentary for IPS.
In a feature article in the newspaper called ‘Why Boycott Just Makes Things Worse’ he stated that
“Isolation rarely leads to improvements in a country, but it often creates considerable problems for the people living there. Experience has shown that democratic development is closely linked to the emergence of a middle class. It is the middle class that has the resources to become politically engaged in promoting freedom of expression and other social progress, not the poor, whose hands are full trying to keep their children from going hungry. If a country is isolated from the rest of the world, no middle class will emerge, and achieving democratic development will be far more difficult”.
In the article he compares the situation of Burma with the 2002-situation of East Timor and Indonesia.
“According to East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta, if Indonesia had been isolated in the same way as Burma, it would still be a dictatorship and East Timor would not have won its independence in 2002” Erik Solheim says.
”Democratic development has also been closely linked to the emergence of a middle class in Thailand, South Korea, and most other countries in eastern Asia” the Norwegian minister of the Environment and International Development ads.