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.

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

One response to “What is ASEAN’s take on Burma now?”

  1. Christina says :

    Mabuhay. I am, like thousands around the world, watching the events in Burma and doing what I can in the way of petitions and donations to help them. And trying to ask questions to see how else we can help.

    I wanted to propose the question: is there any special pressure that ASEAN could bring on Myanmar? And as such, that the Philippines could bring on Myanmar as a member of ASEAN? Most news analaysts looking to China as the major trading partner of Myanmar, but India and Thailand do some trade as well.

    My heart goes out to the Burmese. Apparently, they were very interested in the People Power uprising that toppled Marcos non-violently:

    “My friend Richard Deats of the Fellowship of Reconciliation traveled to Burma in mid-September just before the drama began to unfold. Off he went to lead a series of secret trainings on nonviolence. The junta forbids gatherings of more than five, so Richard hustled from living room to out of the way restaurant. And along with seething unrest, he found broad interest in the way of nonviolence. They were especially eager to hear the story of the People Power movement in the Philippines, and how it nonviolently toppled the Marcos regime.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/10/04/4308/

    My prayers, political attention, and support are with them now.

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