Thursday, August 20, 2009

ASEAN discusses freedom appeal to Burma

August 20, 2009

Officials of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are meeting in Indonesia to discuss a proposed joint call for Burma to release democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

"The senior officials will try and reach a joint position on how best to appeal to (Burma for) the possibility of granting amnesty to Aung San Suu Kyi," Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told AFP news agency.

Senior ASEAN officials met on Wednesday and were holding talks on Thursday and Friday.Thailand said last Friday it was pushing for a consensus among member states to ask Burma's military rulers to pardon Suu Kyi.

The 64-year-old was found guilty of breaching the terms of her house arrest after an eccentric American man, John Yettaw, swam to her lakeside villa in May and stayed there for two days.

Burma's junta leader, Than Shwe, commuted her sentence of three years' hard labour to 18 months under house arrest but this will still rule her out of elections due to be held next year.

ASEAN groups Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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