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Singapore and Myanmar

Aung San Suu Kyi’s impending kangaroo court trial on May 18 and ASEAN’s business as usual

A few things before one reads the Irrawaddy editorial below.

Read these briefers by ALTSEAN Burma:

Burma is still ASEAN’s shame [PDF]

ASEAN should stop ‘passing the buck’ on Burma [PDF]

The second briefer ‘passing the buck’ details the Burmese military dictatorship’s reliance on ASEAN countries, including of course the Singapore government, for petrol & diesel; trade; foreign direct investments and financial services.

Recently, an Australian company

announced its withdrawal from Burma after evidence arose that a subsidiary was working on designs for a new airport in the country’s capital, despite Australia’s tough sanctions on Burma….continue reading

The subsidiary CPG was born out of the corporatisation of the Singapore Public Works Department in 1999.

Its business as usual amidst years of continuing repression, imprisonment, tortures, killings, sham court trials, etc, etc. And they call this ‘constructive engagement’. 🙄

Asean, UN: Silent Partners in Crime?
Irrawaddy Editorial, 14 May 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi, now under arrest in Insein Prison in Rangoon, will face politically motivated charges against her, her personal physician and two caretakers in her home in a special prison court on Monday.

Suu Kyi, 63, and her two female caretakers were arrested at her lakeside home on Thursday, following an American citizen’s overnight intrusion into her home last week.

Suu Kyi and four others involved in the bizarre incident will be tried for violating Burma’s security laws.

Her personal physician was arrested last week, along with the American intruder, John William Yettaw, 53.

Early last week, the US government urged the Burmese government to grant the country’s ailing Nobel Peace Prize laureate immediate access to proper medical care, since she was ill last week.

America and the European Union have made urgent calls for Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest and have asked the regime to give her proper medical care.

But such calls are falling on deaf ears. The authorities have charged her and the others, and Suu Kyi will likely be kept under house arrest or in prison for many years to come.

This is a dark moment for democracy in Burma. Shamelessly, there has been a lack of proper expressions of outrage by many governments in Asia, especially members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Likewise at this provocative moment, the United Nations must take more aggressive actions against Burma’s repressive rulers.

Where is the UN’s special Burma envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who should be leading a forceful UN charge to counter the military regime’s manipulation of these unfortunate events that have led to the charges against Suu Kyi, which could lead to a maximum of five years in prison?

Where is Surin Pitsuwan, Asean’s leader? As a former foreign minister of Thailand, he often criticized the junta’s abysmal human rights record. Now Asean has a human rights charter. Wouldn’t it be proper for Asean to exercise its human rights principles at this sad moment in Burma’s history by clearly and forcefully condemning Burma in the strongest possible language?

Where is Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, who has said Thailand would have “an ethical foreign policy”?

Suu Kyi will be standing in a kangaroo court on Monday. The generals have acted with impunity, knowing that previous protests against their abuses and acts of negligence have quickly faded away.

All nations should speak out now—with force. Silence and mild expressions of concern only send a signal of business as usual to the autocratic rulers of Burma.

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  1. Pingback: The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Daily SG: 18 May 2009 - May 18, 2009

  2. Pingback: The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Weekly Roundup: Week 21 - May 23, 2009

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