World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Disappointment At ASEAN's Cancellation Of Briefing


By Claudia Blume
Hong Kong

Burmese Opposition Groups Disappointed by ASEAN's Cancellation of UN Envoy Briefing

A Burmese political activist says opposition groups are disappointed by ASEAN's giving in to Burma's military government. Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian nations, who are meeting in Singapore, agreed to the demands of the Burmese generals and called off a highly anticipated briefing on Burma by an envoy of the United Nations.

Khin Ohmar is a former Burmese student activist and the Thailand-based coordinator of the Asia-Pacific People's Partnership on Burma. Speaking at Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club on Tuesday, she said ASEAN's decision to cancel U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari's briefing on Burma was a huge disappointment for the Burmese opposition inside and outside the country.

"What is surprising is that ASEAN still continues to allow this to happen," she said. "ASEAN still continue the Burmese take over their agenda. We thought at this point, after all what happened - we thought, they supported the efforts by the U.N., they are completely backing Mr. Gambari's efforts at the moment."

Burma's Prime Minister Thein Sein had told the other ASEAN leaders that the situation in his country was a domestic affair and that Burma was fully capable of handling the situation by itself. Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the host of the summit, said he did not want the Burma issue to dominate the meeting of regional leaders.

Ohmar says Burmese opposition groups advocate targeted sanctions and an arms embargo as the best ways to bring about change in Burma. She says the international community, including ASEAN countries, need to impose sanctions on all sectors that hurt the ruling generals directly - such as the lucrative gem and teak trade and international banking transactions.

"The targeted sanctions will definitely work," she said. "We have seen it already work with the banking sanctions, transaction sanctions from the U.S. recently imposed, with the generals' assets in Singapore. It has already been hit."

Urged by the United States, Singaporean banks are reported to have been distancing themselves from Burmese officials in recent weeks. Singapore, the Burmese generals' favorite destination for shopping and medical treatment, is believed to have been the offshore banking center for the country's leaders.

Ohmar says she has heard reports that Burma's generals are now trying to move their banking to Hong Kong. She is currently in the city to investigate those reports.

ENDS

More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO: