Monday, 11 August 2008

20th Anniversary of 8.8.88 – Two decades of ASEAN failing the people of Burma

(2008-08-08), Kuala Lumpur, 08 August, ( The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) in solidarity with the people of Myanmar / Burma reminded all ASEAN leaders that the bloody events of the 1988 uprising in Burma has yet to be addressed by ASEAN till this day.

ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus in a statement said, "ASEAN has further ignored the plight of the Burmese people who again in 2007, demonstrated against the injustices perpetrated against them.

The statement continued to add : “The ‘Saffron Revolution’ of 2007 was also brutally suppressed and ASEAN has yet to hold the Burmese junta accountable for its actions.

“Conditions have since worsened in Burma as a result of the devastation left by Cyclone Nargis and the poor management of this crisis, by the present military junta, leaves the people of Burma living in deplorable conditions.

“AIPMC disappointingly notes that to date the measures taken by ASEAN leaders to address the humanitarian and political crisis in Burma have been insufficient and unsatisfactory.

AIPMC President Kraisak Choonhavan said, “Burma continues to face rampant inflation, poor healthcare, the unceasing use of child soldiers and the continued imprisonment of political prisoners. ASEAN leaders have failed to ensure that, with the inclusion of Burma into ASEAN, the junta are compelled to respect the rights of its people.

AIPMC strongly urged ASEAN to compel Burma’s junta to engage in genuine political, economic and social reforms. Failing which, ASEAN should no longer protect the junta from international action. Without these comprehensive reforms, especially politically, regional lawmakers fear that Burma will continue to plunge in a downward spiral that would be especially damaging to countries in Southeast Asia.

“We want ASEAN leaders to ensure that the military junta is held accountable for all the Injustices perpetrated by establishing an ASEAN Human Rights mechanism to look into this matter. This must be done in accordance to international human rights standards and principles found in the ASEAN Charter,” added AIPMC senior adviser Loretta Rosales.

As stated in the preamble of the ASEAN Charter, AIPMC again reminds ASEAN leaders that they have agreed to adhere to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. There is no reason for ASEAN to delay the implementation of their promises.

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