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Posted by admin on 2019-01-12 in 上海性息 with No Comments


“The briefing is off,” Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said as leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met for the first time since Burma's deadly crackdown on dissent in September.

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“Myanmar feels that they deal with the UN and it is their own domestic matter. This evening, Myanmar objected and we base our decisions on consensus.”

ASEAN is under mounting international pressure to rein in member state Burma after its campaign to suppress pro-democracy protests left at least 15 dead.

Even as the 10 ASEAN leaders held informal talks ahead of their summit, the European Union was imposing fresh sanctions on the regime, including an embargo on imports of timber, gems and metals.

ASEAN credibility at stake: US

The United States said that ASEAN's credibility was at stake over its handling of the crisis — but the bloc has so far been reluctant to take any punitive action against the nation formerly known as Burma.

“The reputation and the credibility of ASEAN as an organisation has been called into question because of the situation in Burma,” US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said.

“There's no way that I could come here without expressing our concern,” she said, adding she believed ASEAN leaders recognised that “it just can't be business as usual” in their dealings with the junta.

Gambari ‘welcome to meet with leaders individually’

Burma's Prime Minister Thein Sein had been expected to face a grilling over the violence at the informal dinner meeting. But he instead walked away with a victory as the highly anticipated Gambari briefing was called off.

Thein Sein “made clear that the situation in Myanmar was a domestic Myanmar thing and that Myanmar was fully capable of handling the situation by itself,” summit host Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told a press conference.

Mr Gambari had been invited to brief Southeast Asian leaders plus their counterparts from Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea on his two recent missions to Burma.

But Syed Hamid suggested that while the ASEAN leaders were keen to meet with Mr Gambari, they felt that the inclusion of their six dialogue partners effectively sidelined the bloc.

The Malaysian minister insisted the move should not be “considered a slap to the UN” and that Mr Gambari was welcome to meet with leaders individually.

Singapore to sign ASEAN's first charter

However, the incident is an embarrassment for Singapore, which has been openly faulted for its handling of the issue by several of its neighbours.

“The host country invited Mr Gambari — it was not something that was done by ASEAN,” Syed Hamid said pointedly. “The intention is good, but it should be within ASEAN.”

Burma Foreign Minister Nyan Win said his country would this week sign ASEAN's first charter, which commits members to promote human rights and democracy — but provides no mechanism for punishing those who do not obey.

“We agree with the charter,” Nyan Win told reporters after regional ministers formally adopted the charter yesterday. “We will sign, sure.”

But officials and democracy activists say the charter, which seeks to turn ASEAN into a rules-based organisation and create the region's first human rights body, is meaningless unless Myanmar is brought to book.

“The expectation of the Philippines is that if Myanmar signs the charter, it is committed to returning to the path of democracy and releasing Aung San Suu Kyi,” Philippines President Gloria Arroyo told ASEAN leaders at the dinner.

Anti-junta protests in Singapore

Thein Sein's presence here sparked small anti-junta protests near the summit venue — a rare sight in Singapore, which has reinforced its already tight laws on public demonstrations as part of a massive security operation.

Nine students in red shirts walked up the famed Orchard Road shopping strip, in small groups to skirt strict laws against public protests.

“We wanted to do something in some small way to show that the world hasn't forgotten,” Pia Muzaffar, a 22-year-old British student at the National University of Singapore said.

Beyond the situation in Burma, leaders will this week approve a blueprint for a common market embracing the region's nearly 570 million people by 2015 — a target which faces significant hurdles.

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