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Call on all ASEAN governments to urgently send a clear and unequivocal message to the Myanmar military junta that a crackdown and bloodbath revisiting the 1988 massacre is totally unacceptable and incompatible with responsible membership of ASEAN and UN
(Parliament, Tuesday) : With the Myanmar military junta threatening a crackdown as some 100,000 demonstrators led by barefoot Buddhist monks staged in Yangon yesterday the country’s largest anti-government protest since a failed democratic uprising nearly 20 years, ASEAN governments and leaders cannot continue to be on the sidelines and must move quick and fast.
All the nine ASEAN governments must urgently send a clear and unequivocal message to the Myanmar military junta that a crackdown and bloodbath revisiting the 1988 massacre in Burma is totally unacceptable and incompatible with responsible membership of ASEAN and the United Nations.
A repeat of the 1988 bloodbath with some 3,000 people killed by the military would be an unmitigated disaster for Myanmar and ASEAN, casting a pall on the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore on Nov. 20-21 and plunging the regional organization into its worst crisis in 40 years.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary ASEAN, 2007 should be a year to celebrate another major stride in the development of ASEAN with the adoption of an ASEAN Charter incorporating human rights protection for the people of ASEAN.
A bloodbath in Myanmar will not only smash these high and noble ASEAN hopes into smithereens, but also highlight the fatal mistake ten years ago in admitting Myanmar into ASEAN when the military junta had no intention whatsoever to honour its undertaking to work towards national reconciliation and democratization in the country.
China - and in particular the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 – and India will not be able to escape adverse international repercussions of a bloodbath in Myanmar as they will be blamed for giving support to the Myanmar military junta and turning a blind eye to any bloody crackdown in the country.
ASEAN, China and India must co-ordinate and work out a common strategy to ensure that the peaceful protests and demonstrations by monks, nuns and all sectors of the Burmese people are resolved peacefully without violence, paving the way towards national reconciliation and democratization in Burma.
The Malaysian Cabinet tomorrow should take a bold and courageous stand tomorrow, expressing sympathy and support for the peaceful protests and calling on the Myanmese military junta not to resort to violence but to work out a peaceful solution to the Burmese crisis involving the immediate release of Nobel Peace Prize Laureatte Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners and their participation in a transitional National Reconciliation Government.
Malaysian Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, should be instructed to play a leading and activist role both in ASEAN and the United Nations to formulate a strategy together with China, India, United States and European Union to ensure a peaceful and non-violent resolution to the Burmese crisis.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman