US warns citizens on Myanmar election

The United States has warned its citizens of potential security problems during the campaign for the November 8 general election.

The warning issued by the State Department in Washington on October 7 came amid rising political and religious tensions ahead of the vote.

The warning urges Americans to “exercise caution” during the campaign period and to avoid polling stations, political rallies and demonstrations.

“Instances of unrest can occur without warning, endangering bystanders,” it said in a notice that expires on December 20, adding that there was no evidence that US citizens would be specifically targeted.

The United States embassy was among nine in Yangon that issued a joint statement last month expressing concern about the possibility of religion being used “as a tool for division and conflict” during the campaign.

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National League for Democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi acknowledged “worrying signs of religious intolerance in Myanmar,” in an interview published in India Today magazine on October 7.

The NLD leader called in the interview for voters to be “vigilant, cautious, careful and very, very brave”.

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