Syed Hamid should make an immediate special trip to Yangon to see Suu Kyi and ask SPDC to release all political prisoners and embark on tripartite political dialogue for democratization and national reconciliation with NLD and ethnic minorities
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): DAP calls on the Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to make an immediate special trip to Yangon to meet with Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi and to ask the Myanmar military junta to release all political prisoners and embark on tripartite political dialogue for democratization and national reconciliation with the National League for Democracy and ethnic minorities.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has said that the Myanmar ruling junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), is putting ASEAN in a dilemma by further delaying the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and expressed the hope that she would be released as soon as possible.
Malaysia and ASEAN should not just respond to growing international pressure for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, but should demand her immediate release and over a thousand political prisoners because of ASEAN commitment to human rights and democracy.
Instead of being the weakest link in the United Nations system seeking to bring Burma back to the mainstream of international relations and ending her international isolation by ensuring basic respect to human rights and democracy for the Burmese people, Malaysia and ASEAN should undertake a conscious transformation of their role as the leading players in this field.
The United Nations special envoy to Burma, Tan Sri Razali Ismail, has expressed grave dissatisfaction at the failure of ASEAN countries to give him the necessary back-up to get the Myanmese military junta to keep their commitment on democratization and national reconciliation, and this rebuke must be particularly stinging to Malaysia for two reasons:
It is coming to almost a full month since the re-arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi on May 30 and Syed Hamid should make the immediate special visit to Yangon to impress on the SPDC the untenability of its continued intransigence in refusing to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman