Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Burmese democracy a daunting task: Abhisit

by Mungpi

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva says Burma remains a hideous blight on an Asian map of otherwise expanding freedoms and growing economies.

Abhisit, during a speech at the 15th anniversary of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD), held in Bangkok from March 27 – 30, said while democracy and freedom are expanding in Asia, the struggle in several countries, including Burma, remains daunting.

Abhisit said even as detained Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s unwavering fight for democracy in Burma continues to provide great inspiration and hope for members of CALD and freedom fighters the world over, the struggle for democracy in Burma remains the largest obstacle in the regional expansion of democracy.

“Some of our struggles are more daunting than others. Burma's repressive regime remains a hideous blight on Asia's map of expanding freedoms and growing economies,” Abhisit countered.

The Thai Premier said several countries in Asia are in a transitional stage of economics and governance, and affirmed the challenge for liberal democratic parties is to ensure that such competition occurs within the parameters of credible and free elections, accountable and transparent governance, and the rule of law.

“As liberals, we must tirelessly continue to promote dialogue and seek common ground in mediating disparate interests and opposing positions,” said Abhisit.

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