Thursday, September 27, 2007

Burma, Saffron Revolution, and ASEAN

BBC did a report on the clumsy show of force by the military government during their confrontations with the monks and civilians. You can read the report on BBC’s website.

Though there has been few deaths since the start of the anti-government protest sometime last week, I was disgusted by the way the junta treated the citizens, in particular the monks, who are highly reputed in the Buddhist nation. The people were severely beaten with rifle butts by the soldiers but despite the use of force on them, the Burmeses seemed resolute to fight for democracy this time round and to free their democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (They were brutally crushed by the junta in 1988 and many thousands died).

The political event has resulted in US and European Union calling for economic sanctions but these were rejected by Burma’s ally, China, stating the sanctions would not be helpful.

In my opinion, Singapore Government, the current Chairman of the ASEAN, should be more pro-active in forcing the Burmese junta to back down and accept the wish of all the Burmeses to restore democracy, and not just paying lip services by issuing statements through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating:

Singapore is deeply concerned by reports of clashes between protestors and security forces in Yangon. We urge the Myanmar authorities to exercise utmost restraint. We call upon all parties to avoid provocative actions and to work towards reconciliation and a peaceful resolution of the situation."

If you check up ASEAN’s website, you would see no description on the latest development in Burma. Is the association not interested in what is actually happening in the military state, that it sees no need to address the situation other than just giving official statements? What the association really needs to do now is to threaten Burma’s junta with total economic sanctions and expulsion from the association. ASEAN is not simply an organisation set up to sign FTAs with this and that country, it has to get rid of its ‘paper tiger’ reputation and pay more attention to the human rights and other issues in the region.

Update: Singapore's Foreign Minister, Mr George Yeo, who is also the current Chairman of ASEAN has made an official statement on 27 Sep 2007 in New York. It was, however, not available on its website when this post was published.


zawmyo said...

hi all, at that time, myanmar army raid to monks and people who are protest to government for human right and fundamental rights. Now myanmar people need your help to pressure the military junta. Please help to pass this information to other people. Today 9 monks and people (including japanese reporter)was died in myanmar. Please help right now

zawmyo said...

You can see our bad situation in myanmar these following link

James Chia said...

Hi zawmyo, I hope your family members are fine in Myanmar and hope that the military junta could be removed this time round.

zawmyo said...

Yeah plz pass this news to your friends and please send mail to united nation for helping burma plz send email to un

puresunshine said...

I read about this in today's paper. Really moving pictures. I think puttin the UN link on the blog would be a good thing to do.