Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sen. McCain visits NLD HIV/AIDS ‘salvation centre’

Thursday, 02 June 2011 18:21 Ko Wild

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – US Sen. John McCain talked with HIV/AIDs activist Phyu Phyu Thin at the NLD HIV/AIDS ‘salvation center’ in Rangoon on Thursday.

Burmese children living with HIV in
the South Dagon 'salvation center'
managed by the National League
for Democracy greet US Sen.
John McCain in Rangoon on
Thursday, May 2, 2011.
Photo: Mizzima
The Republican senator is on a three-day visit to meet with pro-democracy figures and Burmese government officials.

McCain and the US chargé d' affaires at the US Embassy in Rangoon, Larry Dinger, made one-hour visit to the center, where McCain learned that ARV drugs to treat patients were insufficient in the three ‘salvation centers’ in South Dagon and North Dagon townships, where a total of about 160 AIDS patients take refuge.

“He is a senator’, said Phyu Phyu Thin. ‘He has considerable power. He carefully observed the center, and he promised that he would try to support the salvation centers as much as he can. So, I am hopeful’.

Although AZG and oil giant Total Company supported ARV drugs, offer support now it might not be enough in the long run, Phyu Phyu Thin said. According to figures compiled by the government, there are about 350,000 AIDS patients in Burma.

McCain, who was defeated by US President Barack Obama in the presidential election in 2008, will meet with National League for Democracy (NLD) Secretary-General Aung San Suu Kyi and newly released political prisoners under the government’s one-year commutation during his visit.

On Wednesday, McCain met with Vice President Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo, Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Assembly Speaker Aung Khin Myint, People’s Assembly Speaker Thura Shwe Mann and ethnic MPs. State-run newspapers said that they exchanged views on promotion of bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries..

Rakhine Nationalities Development Party chairman Dr. Aye Maung said that MPs who met with McCain only about 25 minutes wanted more time with the influential US leader.

He told Mizzima: ‘The person he wanted to meet with was the vice president. We are multi-ethnic MPs. This may be a show’.

Sources close to Naypyitaw said that the senator and Burmese government officials talked about human rights and political prisoners, and government leaders objected to the US sanctions against Burma in their meeting with McCain.

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