Monday, May 18, 2009

Activists protest against Suu Kyi’s trial in front of Burmese embassy

by Usa Pichai

Bangkok (Mizzima) - International and Thai activists gathered in front of the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok and urged the Thailand Government as well as ASEAN to take action against Burma.

Members of the Peace for Burma network and Amnesty International, Thailand, gathered in front of the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok, and urged the United Nations Security Council, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to demand the release of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Kotchawan Chaiyabutra, Campaign Coordinator of Amnesty International (Thailand), told Mizzima that the ASEAN countries should prove their strong intentions of improving the human rights situation in the region.

“ASEAN claimed that the setting up of its Human Rights Body would play a significant role in managing regional human rights problems. However, the recent situation in Burma, is a challenge for the association to show their sincerity in solving such problems,” she said.

Kyaw Lin Oo from the Burma Democracy Concern added that Thailand had expressed its concern about the case. “However, Thailand should put more pressure on Burma, to make sure that the situation improves, in case they want to conduct the general elections of 2010.”

ASEAN has not yet released an official joint opinion on the case, but Kasit Piromya, the Thai Foreign Minister said in a press conference last Friday that Thailand was concerned about Burma’s recent political confusion and Aung San Suu Kyi’s illness, but would not pressurize Burma regarding the case.

Peace for Burma has released a statement on Monday saying that Aung San Suu Kyi, who is the light of democracy in Burma, has been accused unfairly due to the visit of an “uninvited” American man. Her doctor and two maids have also been accused by the ruling Burmese military junta.

“The international community must condemn the Burmese junta regarding the action taken in this case, which indicates that they want to stop Aung San Suu Kyi from participating in the coming general elections of 2010. We urge them and related parties to join the protest against this unacceptable action of the junta,” the statement said.

Peace for Burma (PFB), is a coalition of the Thai and Burmese civil society organizations, working to promote democracy in Burma and assist those suffering under the Burmese regime. It was formed in response to the peaceful protests of August 2007 and the subsequent crackdown.

Thai Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva spoke to CNN on various issues, including Burma’s political situation. “We are concerned. For one thing the state of her health is of concern itself and secondly we have encouraged, you know, asked ASEAN, Myanmar (Burma), to continue on the roadmap to achieve a political process, which is inclusive and therefore acceptable to everybody, the international community included, according to a report in ‘The Nation’s’ website on Monday.

In addition, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has supported Thailand's stance on Burma, which called for the end of Aung San Suu Kyi's detention, a Thai Foreign Ministry's spokesperson said on Monday.

Clinton telephoned Thai Foreign Minister, Kasit Piromya, on Saturday to praise Thailand’s reaction over the Burmese junta's move to try Burma's opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, Secretary to the Minister said.

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