What is ASEAN’s take on Burma now?
The European Union, the British and US governments, and the United Nations have initiated moves (mostly talks for now) to address the present crisis in Burma.
But what about the Association of South East Asian Nations? What plans does the regional grouping have now?After getting excited by the thought that finally dissent is in motion in the monk-led peaceful protests in the streets of Burma’s major cities, the next concern now is safety of the defiant protesters.
In the 1988 student uprisings in Rangoon, at least 3,000 were killed. The military rulers have the record of bloody protest management. The Philippine government already issued statements calling on the Burmese government give way, but after the press release what?
Although it will be an unlikely comparison, the situation in Burma is an apt reflection of what will happen if the people will lose grip of civil liberties that could easily be gulped by the greed of power of the few.
It is also irresponsible to close eyes on the situation in Burma because we have our own share of problems here. It is hard to fathom why we claim to fight for human rights and civil liberties here and we ignore the foul the Burmese people, our ASEAN neighbors, have to bear with.