MANILA: Lawmakers from South-East Asia will meet this week to build a common stand on Myanmar, bringing more pressure on the military junta to restore democracy and free opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, an official said yesterday.
About 1,300 lawmakers from 145 countries, including Asean, are gathering in the Philippines for the 112th Inter-Parliamentary Union general assembly opening on Sunday.
“There are a lot of issues being raised, particularly on the failure of the Myanmar government to have a timetable on the roadmap to democracy,” said Franklin Drilon, president of the Philippine Senate.
“The Asean parliamentarians will meet in order to come up with a strategy as to how the different governments in Asean will address the issue of Myanmar. We can take a common stand.”
The meeting on Myanmar on Saturday would be outside the inter-parliamentary union process because the world's oldest multilateral organisation has failed to put the issue on its formal agenda.
Besides Myanmar and the Philippines, Asean includes Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Asean drew out Myanmar from isolation in the late 1990s, taking a more conciliatory approach of “constructive engagement” with Yangon's reclusive generals. – Reuters
Did you find this article insightful?