Thursday, March 31, 2005

Pressure is building on Myanmar to decline next years revolving ASEAN chair due to its human rights record. The US Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, has said that the USA should boycott ASEAN meetings next year if Myanmar takes the chair.

The UN special envoy to Myanmar, Tan Sri Razali Ismail, has backed moves by Malaysian lawmakers earlier this week against Myanmar’s chairing, saying “The UN is always on the side of democracy. It supports the principles these people are pushing and these principles are very important for all governments to adhere to,”

“I don’t think there’s any attempt to punish Myanmar but to make them understand ASEAN is guided by certain principles in order to be a member or in order to be leading ASEAN for a certain period,”

Filipino legislators are also following Malaysian lawmakers, and are expected to propose that all member countries adopt a stand on Myanmar when ASEAN legislators meet in an Inter-Parliamentary Union conference in Manila on April 3.