Don’t let the junta escape its crimes, reject SPDC’s roadmap to democracy

 Filipino activists hold a portrait of Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as they picket outside the Singapore embassy in suburban Makati, south of Manila, on Friday Nov. 16, 2007. Members of the Free Burma Coalition-Philippines appealed to ASEAN summit delegates in Singapore to address the situation in Junta-controlled Myanmar. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Members of Free Burma Coalition-Philippines (FBC-Phils) today held a
rally in front of the Singapore Embassy in Makati City as Singapore will
host next week’s ASEAN Summit from November 17-19.

The rallyists want to remind the ASEAN Summit delegates that Burma has
continued to be ASEAN’s Shame and it must put on its top agenda the
crisis and conflict in Burma.

“Singapore is likely to try and steer the discussion to its main
themes: climate change, energy and the environment, but Summit delegates
should also consider putting into table the *climate of fear in Burma
after the brutal crackdown on Monk’s protests 2 months ago. ASEAN should
push Burma to reform and ask the junta if there is really a tangible
plan for bringing back democracy in Burma,” Egoy Bans, FBC-Philippines
spokesperson said.

“Before they talk about energy and environment, we likewise urge them
to discuss about the destruction of environment in Burma which has now
displaced thousands of ethnic villagers, “ Bans added.

FBC-Phils once again criticized junta’s so called roadmap to democracy
saying that the international community are already fed up of junta’s
empty promises. “We have to see tangible reforms inside Burma. But what
we see now is the same old junta that so power-hungry and
uncooperative,“ Bans stressed.

“ASEAN memebers, since it is no longer possible for them to defend
Burma should now exhaust all necessary avenues to bring meaningful
pressure to the junta. They must assure that this summit will echo the
demands of thousands of people whose rights were violated during the
crackdown in Burma two months ago,” Bans explained.

FBC-Phils also call on the ASEAN to probe on the alleged narco-trade of
the junta mostly with countries in southeast asia. If that is true,
according to FBC-Phils, ASEAN shoul help freeze the junta’s assests.

Letter to ASEAN Leaders

To the Heads of States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
The 13th ASEAN Summit
Through the Embassy of Singapore
Enterprise Tower, Ayala Avenue co Paseo de Roxas
Makati City, Philippines

Your Excellencies,

As you convene for the 13th summit of the ASEAN and adopt the ASEAN Charter, we appeal to you, Excellencies, to carefully consider the present situation of the people in Myanmar and address the questions of integrity and diligence of Myanmar’s rulers, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), vis-a-vis the principles enshrined in the draft ASEAN Charter.

The Preamble of the draft ASEAN Charter declares the states’ adherence “to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Your Excellencies, the signing by Myanmar’s SPDC will at once taint the ASEAN Charter with blood of the Burmese people brutally oppressed by the military junta for decades now. By allowing Myanmar to sign without any redress of the Burmese peoples’ sufferings, all the ASEAN nations will violate the tenets of the ASEAN Charter.

Your Excellencies, we call on the ASEAN Summit to find lasting solutions to crisis in Myanmar and to support international efforts for political dialogue and an immediate halt to all forms of military atrocities and violations of basic human rights of the Burmese people.

The Preamble of the ASEAN Charter declares that states are “Convinced of the need to strengthen existing bonds of regional solidarity to realise an ASEAN Community that is politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible in order to effectively respond to current and future challenges and opportunities.”

We therefore appeal to Your Excellencies to put into action, at the onset, the principles and commitments that the ASEAN members enshrine in the ASEAN Charter.

We urge the ASEAN to:

l to postpone the signing of the ASEAN Charter by the SPDC military junta until the political crisis in Burma is resolved in accordance with international human rights standards. Failing this, it must consider suspending Myanmar’s membership from ASEAN if the SPDC continues to ignore all calls to find a lasting resolution to the crisis in Myanmar;
l to reject the roadmap to democracy drawn up by the SPDC and advocate tripartite dialogue;
l to urge China and India to take concrete measures to pressure the SPDC to engage in a democratic process of reform;
l call on member states, particularly Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia to take concrete measures to bring meaningful pressure on the SPDC junta, including the instigation of an arms embargo and measures to stem the flow of resources from ASEAN countries to the Myanmar army and its associated elites;
l call on the Indonesian government, being the current Chair of the UN Security Council, to pro-actively advocate the imposition of sanctions and other targeted measures by the UNSC;
l urge the SPDC to fully cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation of Myanmar, Mr. Paul Pinheiro, and give him unconditional access to people and locations during his mission; and,
l to start the monitoring of human rights situation in Myanmar and immediately engage the SPDC to stop the continued crackdown against activists and improve the human rights situation of the people of Myanmar.

Your Excellencies, we appeal these to you, in good faith, as part of the people of the ASEAN and in the name of all freedom-loving peoples of the region, including our sisters and brothers in Myanmar, we remain.

The Free Burma Coalition – Philippines
16 November 2007
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM)

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