Aung San Suu Kyi’s trial – “Grave concern” by Thailand, ASEAN Chair welcome but grossly inadequate

The statement of “grave concern” by Thailand, as the ASEAN Chair, about the fragile health and perilous personal safety and freedom of Burmese pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is welcome but grossly inadequate.

While the reminder to the Myanmar military junta about the call of ASEAN leaders for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi is appropriate, it is meaingless unless ASEAN leaders are prepared to take concrete measures to address the first crisis faced by the ASEAN Charter which had committed the member ASEAN nations to protect and promote human rights in their respective countries.

As Chair of ASEAN, Thailand should convene an emergency top-level meeting of ASEAN, whether of heads of governments or foreign ministers, to consider what should be their proper response to the first crisis faced by the ASEAN Charter.

Which ASEAN country will set the lead to move from expressing concern to condemn the Myanmar military junta for such egregious violation of human rights in Burma, in particular to use the ruse of an American who recently swam to her lakeside home to put her on a sham trial so as to extend her unlawful incarceration which is scheduled to end next Wednesday on May 27, 2009.

Thailand, as ASEAN Chair, should take the lead to pressure the Myanmar military junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi on May 27, 2009 or face the consequences of total disregard of the calls by ASEAN leaders since May 2003, and repeated violations of promises made by Myanmar military junta, to release her from house arrest.

  1. #1 by -ec- on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 - 7:31 pm

    According to the ASEAN charter’s article 1 para. 4, 7 & 11 and article 2 para 2(h), 2(i), 2(j) with deal with democracy, human right and fundamental freedoms amongst the ASEAN members, there are 2 options:

    1) push for Myanmar’s compliance, or
    2) expel Myanmar from ASEAN

  2. #2 by Onlooker Politics on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 - 7:36 pm

    Most right thinking persons will know that it is a sham trial. How is the Myanmar military junta government going to justify its false accusation on the political dissenter Aung San Suu Kyi for violating the law of House Arrest by simply basing on the weak evidence of the presence of an uninvited American man in her house arrest living compound?

    If Aung San Suu Kyi is to be convicted by the Myanmar Kangaroo Court and Najib is going to keep quiet about such a falseful conviction, then Najib is indirectly giving consent to any person of malicious intent in Malaysia for sending an illegal alien to intrude into Najib’s living compound and then the Custom Officers be sent to Najib’s house to detain Najib based on the faulty accusation that Najib has committed the crime of illegal harbour of foreigner who does not possess a proper legal travel document and who has violated the Malaysian Immigration Law of making illegal stay in Malaysia. This is really a great danger which will intimidate the proper functioning of the rule of law in any political entity which practises the system of parliamentary democracy. Najib should never further commit Malaysia into the closer association with the tyrannic military junta government of Myanmar since such an association will only bring shame to the Malaysian people.

  3. #3 by alaneth on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 - 9:10 pm

    Najib/Malaysia is keeping very quiet on this issue, but making a lot of noise when Yasser Arafat was once holed up in Ramallah under the same condition by Israeli troops.

    What is all this double standard. We can’t even care for our neighbour but can care for some far away Palestinian who don’t even know us!

    Just ask you guys – how much publicity and donation raised for ?:
    1. Cyclone Nargis victims (Myanmar) – >200000 dead
    2. Gaza Strip incursion by Israel – 2000+ dead

    I donated generously to Myanmar’s cyclone Nargis but not a single cent to Gaza!

  4. #4 by alaneth on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 - 9:12 pm

    We can’t even care for our neighbour but can care for some far away Palestinian who don’t even know us!
    Typo mistake – What I meant above is :
    We can’t even care for our neighbour but can care for some far away ordinary Palestinian citizen who may not even know us!

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 - 11:58 pm

    Thailand and Asia powers such as China and India will not be able to help pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi much because Thailand needs Myanmar’s hydro-electricity and China and India need Myanmar’s natural gas and petroleum.

    One solution is to impart depth and meaning to the ASEAN charter; that is members must be bold to punish (suspend or impose sanction on) a fellow member who has violated human rights and the ASEAN rule of law.

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 9:09 am

    At the core of this issue with ASEAN is its ideology of ‘non-interference’ – its the cornerstone of its defense against Western power criticism and liberal influence that threatens the powers of the political class in ASEAN countries.

    The honest truth is that critics including ASEAN of Western powers influence and action in developed and undeveloping countries have always known that their truth of their criticism was always limited – provided they themselves don’t go too far and national interest stay mostly above the interest of the ruling class in their own country.

    When the ruling class fails miserably, then the truth is interference is justified. The issue is when do the ruling class fail? – the standard is harder to define and subject to debate of the widest range of possibilities.

    ASEAN dare not breach the principle of non-interference for fear they can’t control the standard set for interference. When is it justified? Economic failure? Human Rights failure? Security Failure? At what level is it justified?

    So because of its own hypocrisy, ASEAN find itself that its policy of ‘non-interference’ is equivalent to irresponsibilities now. When your neighbour is raping his wife, abusing is children, stealing from their own family member, etc, do you interfer? Where do you draw the line and where do you have a right to say its none of anyone’s business?

    Such is the delimma of hypocrisy in faith in absolute ideologies…

  7. #7 by ctc537 on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 - 12:06 pm

    The most that ASEAN countries can do to put pressure on the military junta’s unfair trial of ASSK is expelling it from the regional organization. The truth is Myanmar derives more economic benefits from its close relationship with China than its ASEAN membership. So it probably won’t be cowed by this threat.
    A big and resource-rich country can’t be dealt with so easily. China is obviously the main reason behind the junta’s survival to this day. But how does ASEAN convince China to pressure the junta into releasing ASSk when the latter has so much at stakes in Myanmar?
    Unlike the Filipinos, the Myanmar people have been kept in isolation for so long by their successive leaders that for them to organize People Power without ASSK as their leader is unthinkable.

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