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It is Too Early to Support Burma as ASEAN Chair in 2014: Significant and Substantial Change has not been Evidenced

By Human Rights Working Group  •  November 18, 2011

The decision of ASEAN Leader to consensually support Burma to become ASEAN Chair in 2014 on the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (17th November 2011) was in a hurry and without considering factual and substantial reality which occurred in Burma. Such decision could be a threat for democratization process and human rights of Burma’s people inside and outside the country. Although several changes have been conducted, however it have not reflected a condition in conformity with democracy and human rights principles.

The decision to give the ASEAN chairmanship opportunity for Burma should be based on these conditions:

First, democracy institutionalism must be conducted according to universal democracy principle, such as giving wider and stronger participation and control for public;

Second, indeed there have been numerous releases of political detainees and prisoners; however such releases were not complemented by effective remedy either in the context of politic, economy and other rights obliged for those whose rights have been deprived.

Third, impunity is still dominantly occurred. The record of human rights violations during military junta up to now is still significant, either in quantity or quality of the violation. Most importantly, there has been no single effort taken by the government of Burma to prosecute the perpetrators.

Forth, the direction and substance of democratization and human rights protection commitment have not concretely measured in every policy taken, and political statements delivered by Burma’s government are still partial and inconsistent.

Fifth, substantial dialogue between the government and opposition groups has not happened, which caused the reformation potentially further from democratization and human rights protection agenda.

It is very unfortunate that the decision of ASEAN Leaders has been taken without considering the voices of the people and civil society who are longing for Burma that committed to democracy and human rights. Therefore, we urge the ASEAN Leaders to take responsibility in ensuring that the promised change will be in accordance with democracy standard accepted internationally and international human rights principles.

In this opportunity, we also urge international community to conduct monitoring and concrete efforts to ensure such change will happen and in conformity with democracy standard accepted internationally and international human rights principles.

Muhammad Choirul Anam
Acting Executive Director
Phone: 08158718498/087883228864
Email: mc_anam96@yahoo.com

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This post is in: Press Release

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