Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 12th August 2009:
ASEAN and individual ASEAN Governments must make clear their condemnation of another 18-month house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi by Myanmar military junta as an unacceptable violation of ASEAN Charter on Human rights
ASEAN and individual ASEAN governments must make clear their condemnation of another 18-month house arrest of Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi by the Myanmese military junta as an unacceptable violation of ASEAN Charter on Human Rights.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers at their meeting in Phuket last month had endorsed the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the ASEAN Commission on Human Rights, which is to be launched at the ASEAN Summit in October but the latest egregious violation of human rights by the Myanmar military junta raises the question whether such an ASEAN Human Rights Commission would represent a step forward in the promotion and protection of human rights or just a figleaf to give legitimacy to continuing gross human rights violations in the region.
The continued house arrest of Suu Kyi represents at least four things:
Yesterday, ASEAN expressed “deep disappointment over Suu Kyi’s additional term of house arrest for 18 months.
In his immediate response, Malaysian Foreign Minister, Datuk Anifah Aman called for an urgent meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers the discuss the adverse development in Myanmar calculated to exclude Suu Kyi from all role in next year’s general elections.
ASEAN should go beyond just expressing “deep disappointment” over the latest outrage committed by the Myanmar military junta against human rights and Suu Kyi.
An emergency meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers should not only be convened but it should pave the way for a fuller condemnation of the Myanmese military junta for the continued persecution of Suu Kyi and its refusal to accept the most elementary of human rights and democratic principles.
The time has come for ASEAN to seriously consider expulsion or at least suspension of Myanmar from ASEAN as well for the Parliaments of the other ASEAN nations to censure the Myanmar military junta for continued gross violation of human rights in the prolonged incarceration of some 2,100 political prisoners, including Suu Kyi.
*Lim Kit Siang, Chairman of Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus on Myanmar & DAP Parliamentary leader; MP for Ipoh Timor