DAP calls for the establishment of an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Task Force on Burma to plan, co-ordinate and monitor strategy to secure Aung San Suu Kyi’s immediate release and the democratization and tripartite national reconciliation in Burma
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): DAP calls for the establishment of an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Task Force on Burma to plan, co-ordinate and monitor strategy of Asian and European countries to secure Aung San Suu Kyi’s immediate release and the democratization and tripartite national reconciliation in Burma.
Although the Myanmar military junta announced that it had released 91 political prisoners detained over the May 30 clashes resulting in Aung San Suu Kyi’s re-detention in the past one month, the ASEM in Bali attended by delegates from 10 Asian countries and the 15 European Union members should come out with a strong condemnation of the continued incarceration of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the total retrogression of the Myanmar military junta from its commitment towards political dialogue, democratisation and national reconciliation in Burma.
The ASEM Task Force on Burma should have two joint chairmen, one from Asia and one from Europe, to symbolize the common aspirations of the people of Asia and Europe for Burma to come out of the cold of international isolation by ending the repressive and undemocratic rule of the military, paving the way for the restoration of Burmese democracy and national reconciliation.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers should convene an emergency meeting to review the failure of the Myanmar military junta to honour its commitments of “temporary” re-detention of Aung San Suu Kyi “for protective custody” - which will enter into its third month in a week - and the Phnom Penh Declaration of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers last month which "looked forward to the early lifting of restrictions placed on Aung San Suu Kyi".
The emergency ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting should give an ultimatum to the Myanmar military junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi, failing which it should implement a programme of suspension of Myanmar from all ASEAN activities as a prelude to the expulsion of Myanmar from ASEAN as its continued membership is not only incompatible but detrimental to the interests of all other ASEAN member nations.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman