DAP calls on ASEAN Foreign Ministers to convene an emergency meeting on the failure of UN special envoy Razali Ismail’s 11th visit to Burma to secure the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and to suspend Myanmar’s participation at the ASEAN Bali Summit next week
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Friday): The failure of the 11th visit of the United Nations special envoy Tan Sri Razali Ismail to Burma to secure the immediate release of Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi and to kickstart the stalled political dialogue in the country must be taken as an open rebuff and defiance of ASEAN and United Nations and the rejection by the Myanmese military junta of regional and international initiatives to normalize the political situation in Burma.
It also marks the failure of the six-year ASEAN constructive engagement with Myanmar by admitting it into the regional organization in 1997. The Burma issue must be placed high on the agenda of the ASEAN Bali Summit next Tuesday for ASEAN leaders to take stock of Myanmar’s intransigence and defiance of regional and international opinion and what new posture to adopt vis-à-vis the Myanmese military junta in view of the new impasse.
Although there had recently been new pressures by other ASEAN countries on Myanmar, including the July warning by the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir that Myanmar may be expelled from ASEAN if it persists in its refusal to release Aung San Suu Kyi and to embark on a meaningful process of political dialogue, democratization and national reconciliation, Myanmar appeared to have called everybody’s bluff by obstinately rejecting overtures by fellow ASEAN governments and leaders to show results of democratization and not just talk meaninglessly about the “seven-stage roadmap to democracy.
The latest futile and fruitless Razali visit to Burma must bestir ASEAN to resolute action to demonstrate its commitment not to allow Myanmar to continue to hamper and sully ASEAN’s international reputation and standing – by suspending Myanmar’s participation at the ASEAN Bali Summit.
DAP calls on all ASEAN Foreign Ministers minus Myanmar to convene an emergency meeting to suspend Myanmar’s participation at the ASEAN Bali Summit next Tuesday.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman