101 East
Burma Asean
We ask if Myanmar's ongoing suppression ridicules ASEAN's promise of human rights protection.
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2008 13:23 GMT

The last two years has seen a major escalation in
violence by Burmese troops in the region

Myanmar's heavy-handed response to citizens' protests over fuel price rises contrast sharply with ASEAN's traditional reliance on quiet diplomacy to call on it and other member states to follow human rights principles. 

To mark its 40th anniversary this year, ASEAN members will sign the group's first Charter in November which enshrines human rights protection as a binding principle.

Does this mark a break in ASEAN's 40-year history of citing the consensual 'ASEAN way' and Southeast Asian aversion to confrontation as cause not to interfere in member states' affairs?

101 East asks incoming ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan whether ASEAN has become serious about insisting its less democratic members protect their citizens' human rights.

Joining him is Razali Ismail, the former United Nations envoy to Myanmar who quit his post in 2005 after the ruling junta repeatedly refused his entry into the country.

Completing the discussion panel is Khin Ohmar, a former Burmese student soldier who fled Myanmar in 1988 and now promotes Burmese democracy from Thailand.

Watch this episode of 101 East here:

Part One:

Part Two:

This episode of 101 East aired on Thursday 30th August 2007

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