Saturday, August 22, 2009

RI foreign office: There is polarization in Asean toward Myanmar

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said he noted a polarization among 10 Asean member countries regarding discussions on the Asean joint call on Myanmar about the court`s verdict on pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"There is a polarization within Asean of the outspoken to those still in need of further inputs from their respective countries," Faiza said at his office in Jakarta Friday when commenting on the results of the Asean senior officials meeting (SOM), August 19-21.

However Faiza said the polarization of the 10 Asean member countries in looking at the case of the court`s verdict on pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was still something natural.

After all, he added, the SOM this time made a recommendation as an input for the Asean foreign ministers."The foreign ministers would then decide on a mechanism and a way to express it" he said.

According to Faiza, actually this time the SOM was more enclined to discuss an Asean internal change regarding the Asean Charter, and preparations for the 15th Asean summit in Thailand.

However, he added, the developments in Myanmar and the note of the Thai foreign minister as Asean rotating chairman asking the Asean SOM to discuss the Myanmar case, caused the issue to be discussed at the SOM.

Asean groups Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam.

Earlier, the Indonesian government has expressed disappointment with the ruling of the Myanmarese criminal court sentencing Suu Kyi to 18 months house arrest.

On Tuesday (Aug 11), the Insein jail in Yangon held the Nobel laureate for three years and hard labor, for violating her house arrest regulations allowing an American who went swimming in a lakeside pool at her home in May.

But Than Shwe, the reigning top authority, signed a desicion reducing her sentence to house arrest one and a half years after she was proven guilty.

The American, John Yettaw (54), who came to her home, was tried and sentenced to seven years of hard labor.Aung San Suu Kyi had been in house arrest for 14 years of the 20 years of detainment since the Myanmarese junta refused to accept the victory of the National League for Democracy (NLD), whose leader won the 1990 general elections.

The opposition accused the junta of using the accusation as an excuse to prevent her from joining the 2010 general elections, especially because the verdict was pronounced only several days before the end of her house arrest.

The poor country had been controlled by the military since 1962.The case received strong criticisims from many countries against the military junta in Myanmar, which had already been severly punished by the United States and the European Union.(*)

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