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Cablegate: Burma -- Usg-Sponsored Civil Society Conference In

VZCZCXRO5774
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHTRO
DE RUEHJA #0452/01 0651007
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051007Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8230
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 2396
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2127
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1649
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1631
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4794
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 1363
RUEHPT/AMCONSUL PERTH 0617
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 2478
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 000452

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP, EAP/PD (FOR LNEIGHBORS/GMCLOUGHLIN)
IIP/C, IIP/P, IIP/EAP (DAVENDASORA), EAP/MTS,
EAP/MLS (COPE), EAP/RSP, G (CURRIE)
NSC FOR EPHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID BM ID
SUBJECT: BURMA -- USG-SPONSORED CIVIL SOCIETY CONFERENCE IN
JAKARTA

REF: JAKARTA 120 AND PREVIOUS

JAKARTA 00000452 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified -- Please
handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: An intensive USG-sponsored conference on
"The Role of ASEAN Civil Society in Supporting Human Rights
and Democracy in Burma" will take place in Jakarta March 6-7.
Over 20 regional experts will participate. The conference
will focus on how the Burmese situation is a threat to the
region, and speakers will address such topics as human
rights, the need for a democratic transition, as well as
human trafficking and economic stability. Organized by
Indonesian civil society with EAP/PD funding, the conference
will conclude with a declaration. We already understand that
the Canadian government and NDI plan follow up events. END
SUMMARY.

CIVIL SOCIETY CONFERENCE

3. (SBU) Regional civil society leaders and scholars will
gather in Indonesia March 6-7 for a conference on how Burma's
current situation impacts on the security, health, and
prosperity of the region. The conference is being funded by
EAP/PD with assistance from the National Democratic Institute
(NDI). It is being organized by a coalition of Indonesian
activists. Opened by Indonesia's most prominent human rights
lawyer, Rafendi Djamin, chair of Human Rights Working Group,
the conference will lead off with a keynote address by
Indonesian Parliamentarian Djoko Susilo, the head of the
ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC). A Burmese
monk who left Burma after the September uprising, U Awbata,
is traveling to the conference from Sri Lanka and will make
opening inspirational remarks.

4. (SBU) The first session on "The Current Problem in Burma"
will be facilitated by Galuh Wandita, director of the
International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), in
Jakarta. Nyo Ohn Myint of the Asia Pacific People's
Partnership on Burma (APPPB) will talk about the background
of the present situation and noted scholar Win Min of Chiang
Mai University will talk on current issues.

5. (SBU) There will also be a session on "Burma as a
Regional Problem." Speakers include:

-- Debbie Stothard, Coordinator with Altsean-Burma (an NGO
focused on regional Burmese matters) and authority on Burma
transnational issues, speaking about regional security;
-- Duncan McArthur with the Thailand Burma Border Coalition,
who has worked in the border region since 1995, speaking on
migration, refugees, and human trafficking;
-- Dr. Voravit Suwanvanichkij of John Hopkins University, an
expert on the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious
diseases resulting from the Burmese situation, speaking on
drugs and disease;
-- Zaw Oo from American University and policy advisor to the
National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, speaking
on regional economic impacts; and,
-- Wong Aung, global coordinator for the Shwe Gas Movement,
speaking on capital investment and the role of economic
sanctions.

6. (SBU) Turning to international responses to the Burma
crisis, speakers include: Egoy Bans of the Free Burma
Coalition; U.S. Embassy Political Counselor Joseph L. Novak
reviewing the U.S. reaction; Roshan Jason, director of the
AIPMC in Malaysia; and, Patrick Burgess, of ICTJ Asia. The
topic of "Civil Society Responses and Options for Future
Action" will be reviewed by several regional and Indonesia
civil society activists from human rights groups, the media
and labor unions.

7. (SBU) On day two, conference participants will break into

JAKARTA 00000452 002.2 OF 002


working groups to recommend strategies on how to bring about
democracy in Burma and how to support that transition. A
declaration and recommended follow-up actions will be
announced at the closing session, followed by a press
conference.

MEDIA

8. (SBU) The media is invited to attend the opening session
and the reading of the final declaration, and is welcome to
cover all plenary sessions. PAS is videotaping the main
events throughout the conference and plans to produce a short
documentary on DVD for regional distribution, as well as to
provide broadcast quality video for TV stations which are
interested but could not attend. Attendees will all be given
background material on issues to be covered at the
conference, including the President's February 25 statement
on Burma and other U.S. policy articles.

9. (SBU) While the USG role in the conference will be low
key, the DCM will be holding a dinner for organizers and
participants, Pol/C will present the U.S. policy viewpoint at
one session, and our sponsorship will be recognized on logos
on conference materials. Mission is working with IIP to
produce articles on the conference. PAS also will send
photos of the conference to IIP and to other Posts in the
region with captions.

NEXT STEPS

10. (SBU) As mentioned, participants will issue a
declaration which will also review follow-up activities. We
already understand that the Canadian government plans to
convene a conference in late March in Quebec City focused on
Burma (this conference is, in part, directly modeled on the
Jakarta conference). NDI also is planning upcoming
Burma-related events in the East Asian region.

11. (SBU) Overall, participants in the conference--many of
whom were recruited with help from other Missions in the
region--told us that holding the event in Indonesia is
significant because of its influence in the region and the
fact that it recently moved to democracy from an
authoritarian set-up. We hope that the conference will
resonate regionwide, helping stimulate civil society/citizen
activism on the situation and the need for a change in the
Burmese status quo.
HUME

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