Asean Secretary-General Rodolfo Severino should fly to Rangoon to demand the immediate and unconditional release of the 11 ASEAN nationals arrested by the Burmese military junta


Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): ASEAN Secretary-General Rodolfo Severino should fly to Rangoon to demand the immediate and unconditional  release of the 11 ASEAN nationals arrested by the Burmese military junta.

Among the 18 foreign activists arrested in Burma on August 9 are three Malaysians, three Thais, three Indonesians and two Filipinos.

The ASEAN Secretary-General should also convey to the Burmese military junta the condemnation of the arrests by ASEAN public opinion and the demand that the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) should stop its harassment of Burmese Opposition Leader, Aung San Suu Kyi who is virtually under house arrest  and other National League for Democracy leaders.

DAP is gravely concerned about the safety and health of the three Malaysians arrested in Burma, namely Johnson Chong, 27, J.L. Ong, 25 and C.H. See and calls on the Malaysian Ambassdor to Burma to demand access to them to ensure that they are not ill-treated and are given all representation and assistance.

A Government which is afraid of name-card-sized goodwill message to the people of Burma is sorely lacking in popularity and legitimacy.

A Burmese military spokesman said that the activists had broken Burmese laws and an Asian diplomat guessed that they might be jailed for at least a year.

The ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN governments whose nationals are among those arrested must ensure that the Asian diplomatís guess never becomes a reality.

(11/8/98)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong