Saturday, September 29, 2007

Asean should interfere in Myanmar

Asean has done something it considered drastic. The grouping has issued a statement to tick off its member nation Myanmar following the latest bloody crackdown by the military government against the pro-democracy movement led by Burmese monks.

According to reports, Asean foreign ministers 'expressed their revulsion to Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win over reports that the demonstrations in Myanmar are being suppressed by violent force, and that there have been a number of fatalities'.

They demanded that the country's military junta 'immediately desist from the use of violence against demonstrators' (The Straits Times pix). Even bloggers in Singapore are up in arms. See postings on The Singapore Daily, Tomorrow and The Void Deck.

The Asean rebuke is a departure from its past stance of non-interference in the affairs of its ten member nations.

But it's simply ain't good enough anymore. Asean should consider doing something more drastic to restore peace and image in its own backyard. What Myanmar is doing internally is affecting the image of the rest of the neighbourhood.

I'm not going to sit still if my neighbour kills members of its own family. I will enter my neighbour's house to stop the killing or call the police to interfere immediately. No more niceties.

First, Asean should consider booting out Myanmar from the grouping, as suggested by a Malaysian lawmaker. That's a longer term move if the junta remains in power and refuses to accept the release of all political detainees, including opposition leader and Nobel Prize laureate Aung Sung Suu Kyi.

In the immediate future, Asean and United Nations should work together to send in peace-keeping forces to help calm down the situation in Myanmar, as diplomacy has obviously failed after so many years of idle chatter.

It's better for Asean/UN to send in troops to restore peace in Myanmar instead of waiting for Uncle Sam to act unilaterally again. The United States has invaded many countries unilaterally, some on the pretext of securing peace for certain regions. The result has been disastrous. Iraq was the latest casualty.

Asean, act now!!!

Additional report: Singapore has defended the country against accusations that it is a money-laundering centre for members of Myanmar's military regime. Read here.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think ASEAN should do something about Singapore too. In Burma, still got 5 people can protest, Singapore only 4. So Singapore more repressive.

Sophie said...

but singapore any other asean member doesn't kill its protesters. singapore has never killed any protester although it has strict rules for gathering of demonstrators.

malaysia used mainly chemical-laced water to disperse protesters at the height of the reformasi movement in 1998. the philippines people movement in the 1980s was largely peaceful. thailand has had many bloodless coups. i also dont recall indonesia killing student protesters that ousted suharto in 1998.

James Chia said...

But if you protest in Burma you may probably be beaten to death. The soldiers there are given free orders to kill. What's more important now is for Singapore government to stop all the hypocritical talks. As what Sophie has said, you don't sit around doing nothing when your neighbour tries to kill his family members.

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