Saturday, June 20, 2009

Parliamentarians seek expulsion of Burma from ASEAN

by Usa Pichai

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Representatives from regional Parliaments have urged ASEAN to reconsider Burma’s membership in the bloc, while activists, academics and civic groups in Thailand organized several activities calling for the release of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Kraisak Chunhavan, President of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) said in a conference on Friday at Thailand’s Chiang Mai University that it is time for ASEAN to revise the status of Burma in the group because Burma’s military government has failed to respond to repeated calls by the international community to improve the human right situation in the country.

“ASEAN is in a difficult time because it is pursuing a progressive and developed image by trying to set up a charter to protect human rights in the region. However, Burma’s problems have limited dialogue with other regional blocs because the counterparts are unlikely to talk at the same table as the Burmese regime.”

Kraisak also said more than 3,000 ethnic Karen villagers have fled to Thailand in the wake of recent fighting in the east of Burma between government forces and their allies and the Karen National Army.

“We are ashamed of Thai companies operating and investing in Burma, particularly in the energy sector, leading to a worsening of the situation and allowing the Burmese junta to further suppress ethnic people such as with the forced relocation of villagers in Karen State to build dams on the Salween River,” he added.

Additional attendees at the conference calling for ASEAN countries to take a stronger stance regarding the Burmese junta were AIPMC chairs Loretta Ann P. Rosales from the Philippines, Charles Chong from Singapore and Wan Azizah Wan Ismail from Malaysia. The AIPMC representatives were joined by several hundred academics, activists and interested parties.

At a similar gathering at Bangkok’s Thammasat University, Sriprapa Petchmisri from Mahidol University commented that the human rights problem in Burma is not only about political rights and freedom of the people but also concerns other problems such as accessing food, water and other supplies.

She added that the failure of regional countries such as China, Russia and Indonesia to support U.N. Security Council Resolutions on the crisis in Burma is troublesome.

“This is a worrisome comment from Burma’s neighboring countries,” she conjectured.

The events were timed to coincide with the 64th birthday of the detained Burmese opposition leader.

Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too