Razali should cut short his five-day visit to Burma after being denied access to Aung San Suu Kyi on his third day in Yangon to protest against intransigence of Burmese military junta
by Lim Kit Siang
(Penang, Sunday): United Nations special envoy to Burma Tan Sri Razali Ismail should cut short his five-day visit to Burma after being denied access to Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on his third day in Yangon to protest against the intransigence of the Burmese military junta and before it becomes another farce of United Nations impotence.
The Myanmese State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) had already rendered the UN-brokered political breakthrough last May completely farcical as there had been no progress whatsoever in the past year in its international commitment to enter into a tripartite political dialogue involving SPDC, National League for Democracy (NLD) and the ethnic minorities to restore democracy and work for national reconciliation in Burma.
Before his arrival in Yangon on Friday, Razali had urged other countries, especially China, India, Japan and the United States to apply more pressure on the military junta. It is significant that Razali did not mention ASEAN or any of the ASEAN governments, especially Malaysia, which had been one of the most fervent defenders of the military junta, especially through the now discredited ASEAN “constructive engagement” policy to end its record as one of the world’s worst human rights abusers.
With the failure of the “constructive engagement” policy, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh June 16-17 should seriously consider substituting it with a “constructive intervention” policy to give priority to the restoration of democracy, human rights and national reconciliation in Burma.
The ASEAN governments should act in unison and individually summon the Myanmese Ambassadors in their respective capitals to demand of SPDC,
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman