(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): ASEAN Secretary-General R.C. Severino should send a strong warning to the Myanmese military junta of adverse ASEAN and international reaction if it deports Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi and/or dissolves her National League for Democracy (NLD), which is expected early next month.
It is most regrettable that the admission of Myanmar into ASEAN has not led to any progress either in national reconciliation efforts or the democratisation process in Burma, but the reverse, to the extent that the Myanmese military regime is seriously considering deporting the Nobel peace laureate. Rumours had circulated in Rangoon that Suu Kyi might be deported on January 3.
ASEAN governments should demand an assurance from the Myanmese State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) that there would be no coercive action to deport Suu Kyi or dissolve the NLD, which would not only be a further blot on its image but also a stain on ASEAN’s international reputation and standing.
If SPDC forcibly deports Suu Kyi from Burma against her will, it would make a mockery of all the assurances given by ASEAN government leaders, including the Malaysian Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi that Myanmar’s admission into ASEAN would make the military junta pay greater respect to international opinion and human rights.
In view of the assurances that Abdullah Badawi had given to the Malaysian Parliament and people about the "good and proper conduct" of the Myanmese military junta after its admission into ASEAN, the Malaysian Foreign Minister should urgently get in touch with his counterpart in Burma to warn it against any attempt to deport Suu Kyi or dissolve NLD.