Friday, April 17, 2015

Burma Hires Washington Lobbyists Podesta Group

Tony Podesta.

The government has been without K Street representation since 2003, when the Union of Myanmar State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) — the military junta-based government that was disbanded in 2011 — terminated its relationship with DCI Associates, which later became the public affairs firm DCI Group.
Washington has begun a slow but cautious embrace of Myanmar in recent years. Obama became the first U.S. president to visit Myanmar in 2012, and traveled to the country again in 2014. His administration has worked to ease some of the sanctions imposed on Myanmar, as long as it makes strides on human rights and democracy.
Many members of Congress remains skeptical, noting the military still has a hold on many parliament seats. The government there also faces accusations of violence and punishing journalists and political prisoners.
“Nobody expected them to move as fast as they did, or as far, in the first two years,” Clapp said. “That fueled greater expectations for the next two years” and into the present day. “You end up moving so fast that you hit a wall and you smash your nose — and that’s what ended up happening” in the country, she said.