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ACTIVISTS URGE ASEAN: REVIEW MEMBER
- Subject: ACTIVISTS URGE ASEAN: REVIEW MEMBER
- From: altsean@xxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 23:50:00
Subject: ACTIVISTS URGE ASEAN: REVIEW MEMBERSHIP DECISION
A L T E R N A T I V E A S E A N N E T W O R K O N B U R M A
tel: 66 2 275 1811, 66 2 693 4515 fax: 66 2 693 4515
c/o FORUM-ASIA 109 SUTHISARNWINICHAI RD SAMSENNOK HUAYKWANG BANGKOK 10320
For immediate release: July 11 1997
ACTIVISTS URGE ASEAN: REVIEW MEMBERSHIP DECISION
Bangkok, Fri: A network of Asean-based supporters of human rights and
democracy today urged Asean to reconsider its decision to proceed with
admitting Burma as a full member at its July Summit.
The Alternative Asean Network on Burma (ALTSEAN-BURMA) said that Asean, in
the interests of logic, consistency and dialogue, should also delay Burma's
admittance until peace was restored to the country. Yesterday, Asean Foreign
Ministers decided to delay Cambodia's entry and to admit Laos and Burma at
the Summit later this month.
ALTSEAN-BURMA Coordinator Debbie Stothard said: "We applaud Asean's call for
dialogue in Burma which was made earlier this month, however Asean needs to
back it up with a clear signal to ensure that Burma's military junta will
take it seriously.
"A delay in Burma's membership will give Burma's Slorc regime some time to
seriously consider and positively respond to Asean's call for dialogue.
"The Cambodian crisis is an ominous reminder to us all that membership
should not be taken lightly and intending members should prove their sincere
commitment to peaceful resolution of conflicts.
"In many ways, the situation in Burma parallels Cambodia. War continues to
rage in parts of the country. A total of more than 200,000 refugees are
gathered on its borders with Thailand, Bangladesh and India. Forced
relocations and forced labour is rampant. The overwhelming rate of drug
production and HIV/AIDS infection under the irresponsible administration of
the Slorc continues to pose a threat to this region.
"If Asean is willing to recognise the elected representatives of Cambodia,
logically, it should do the same for Burma.
"What Burma's democracy movement and ethnic nationalities ask for is
tripartite dialogue. This extremely reasonable request is enthusiastically
supported by Asean-based activists and the international community.
"Asean should not squander the opportunity to facilitate this essential
process." emphasised Ms Stothard.
For more information, please contact:
Bangkok tel. (66 2) 275 1811 or (66 2 692 4515)