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No More “Wait and See”: ASEAN Must Support a Commission of Inquiry in Burma

By Burma Partnership  •  July 14, 2011

Ahead of the 44th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) and 18th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Bali, Indonesia, Burma Partnership joined civil society organizations in Jakarta to raise serious concerns about human rights situation in Burma and throughout the region.

In a briefing today, Khin Ohmar, Coordinator of Burma Partnership, spoke about the lack of genuine democratic progress in her country in the 8 months since the fraudulent elections and the first three months of the military regime’s puppet parliament. “In this time, our country has seen escalating civil war and human rights violations, political repression and the ongoing detention of nearly 2,000 political prisoners. It is blatantly clear to us that things inside our country have not changed for the better and will not change if things continue in the same direction. We don’t need to wait and see any longer,” said Khin Ohmar.

Burma Partnership released a briefing paper today, entitled “We have waited and seen enough”, calling on ASEAN and the international community to take responsibility where Burma’s regime has failed. Instead of addressing the problem of impunity within the country, the regime continues to engage in armed conflict with ethnic groups and communities, perpetuating human rights violations that likely amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. A United Nations-led Commission of Inquiry into these crimes would provide an urgently needed step towards facilitating truth seeking, preventing further crimes from being committed, supporting peace efforts and national reconciliation, and helping to bring an end to impunity in Burma.

“These violations are happening within the ASEAN community. If ASEAN fails to support a Commission of Inquiry in Burma and allows impunity to continue, the bloc is essentially condoning serious human rights violations throughout the region. This is not a part of ASEAN’s vision for a regional community,” said Khin Ohmar. “The AMM and ARF are perfect opportunities for ASEAN and its closest neighbours to decide to collectively take action in support of a Commission of Inquiry in Burma.”

The briefing paper is available to download here.

For more information, please contact:

Khin Ohmar, Coordinator of Burma Partnership: +66(0)818840772

Burma Partnership is a network of organizations throughout the Asia-Pacific region supporting the collective efforts of all peoples working towards democracy, peace, and human rights in Burma.

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This post is in: Press Release

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