Media Conference (2) by Lim Kit Siang Siang at DAP PJ Hqrs on Friday, 15th May 2009 at 12.30 pm:
Najib should lead Malaysia and ASEAN to pressure Myanmar military junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi to prove to the world that the ASEAN Charter is no “whitewash” for the most egregious human rights violations in Myanmar
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should lead Malaysia and ASEAN to pressure the Myanmar military junta to release Burmese democracy icon and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to prove to the world that the ASEAN Charter is no “whitewash” for the most egregious human rights violations in Myanmar.
Malaysia and ASEAN’s credibility in international society are also dragged through the mud when Suu Kyi was indicted with the ridiculous charge of breaching the terms of her house arrest over a bizarre incident in which a US Vietnam veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder swam to her lakeside house.
Charged under the country’s Law Safeguarding the State from the Dangers of Subversive Elements, which carries jail sentence up to five years, Suu Kyi faces lengthy and harsh incarceration in Rangoon’s notorious Insein prison.
The purpose clearly is to stretch her detention past its supposed expiry date this month and through controversial elections due in 2010, an important plank of the Myanmese military junta’s sham “12-step road to democracy”.
Suu Kyi, 63, in fragile health, has been confined for 13 of the past 19 years. As rightly pointed out by the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar, Tomas Ojea Quintana, Suu Kyi’s detention is unlawful, both according to international law and Myanmar’s own domestic legislation.
Suu Kyu cannot under any circumstances be blamed for the intrusion into her home, especially as her house was well-guarded by Myanmese security forces.
The Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus on Myanmar and the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) are gravely concerned about the worsening of the human rights situation in Myanmar and call on Malaysia and ASEAN to take immediate initiatives to remind and ensure that the Myanmese military junta abide by the ASEAN Charter and its commitment to promote, protect and respect human rights in Myanmar.
What the Myanmese military junta has done is no different from an open renunciation and tearing up of the ASEAN Charter with regard to its commitment on human rights.
Malaysia and other ASEAN nations cannot stand idly by at such an open desecration of the ASEAN Charter and an emergency meeting of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting should be convened immediately, ahead of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) of Foreign Ministers scheduled in Bangkok in July on the latest ordeal of the Burmese democracy icon, Suu Kyi and over 2,100 political prisoners.
I had tried to meet the Foreign Minister, Datuk Anifah Aman yesterday on the latest persecution of Suu Kyi but was informed that he was in the United States, returning to Malaysia midday Sunday.
I have informed his political secretary, Datuk Norharidi to convey to the Foreign Minister on his return the request of the Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus on Myanmar and the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) for an urgent meeting before Suu Kyi’s trial on Monday.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor