Media Comment by Lim Kit Siang Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 19th May 2009:
“Grave concern” by Thailand, ASEAN Chair, welcome but grossly inadequate as it should convene emergency top-level ASEAN meeting whether of heads of government or foreign ministers to deal with the first crisis faced by ASEAN Charter
The statement of “grave concern” by Thailand, as the ASEAN Chair, about the fragile health and perilous personal safety and freedom of Burmese pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is welcome but grossly inadequate.
While the reminder to the Myanmar military junta about the call of ASEAN leaders for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi is appropriate, it is meaingless unless ASEAN leaders are prepared to take concrete measures to address the first crisis faced by the ASEAN Charter which had committed the member ASEAN nations to protect and promote human rights in their respective countries.
As Chair of ASEAN, Thailand should convene an emergency top-level meeting of ASEAN, whether of heads of governments or foreign ministers, to consider what should be their proper response to the first crisis faced by the ASEAN Charter.
Which ASEAN country will set the lead to move from expressing concern to condemn the Myanmar military junta for such egregious violation of human rights in Burma, in particular to use the ruse of an American who recently swam to her lakeside home to put her on a sham trial so as to extend her unlawful incarceration which is scheduled to end next Wednesday on May 27, 2009.
Thailand, as ASEAN Chair, should take the lead to pressure the Myanmar military junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi on May 27, 2009 or face the consequences of total disregard of the calls by ASEAN leaders since May 2003, and repeated violations of promises made by Myanmar military junta, to release her from house arrest.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor