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Britain Praises Philippines for Stance on Burma

Britain has asked the Philippine government, as the upcoming chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to pressure Burma to improve its human rights situation.

British Ambassador to Manila Peter Beckingham told reporters Thursday that the government of President Gloria Arroyo should be lauded for not being shy in voicing concerns over the lack of democracy in Burma.

Mr. Beckingham said London is worried about the situation in Burma. The ambassador said he was happy that the Philippines rather than Burma will chair ASEAN next year, and he hoped to work closely with Manila.

The British Ambassador said there is deep concern that there has been no movement on Burma's announced plans to move toward democracy.