"Our Burmese brothers are even more unfortunate"
covering burma and southeast asia
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Interview

"Our Burmese brothers are even more unfortunate"


By Sam Rainsy [2000] Tuesday, August 1, 2000


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They killed a lot of people and are still in power. So they are very upset about the possibility of a real trial organized by the UN.

Q: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) recently indicated that it is not yet ready to create a human rights commission. Do you feel that Asean is doing enough to resolve human rights issues in countries like Cambodia and Burma?

A: So far, in spite of the good intentions stated by some Asean leaders, I don't think that Asean is helping enough to promote human rights in countries where they are violated, like Burma, Cambodia and even Malaysia. I would like to see another Asean, an alternative Asean, more sensitive and responsive to human rights principles, and more willing to act and defend them, which will show real and strong solidarity with democrats in their fight for democracy in the region.

Q: You mentioned in one of your remarks that you have engaged in dialogue with the authorities. Does this mean that you have abandoned your confrontational style? Should Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma follow your example?

A: I think you have to stick to principles. You cannot give up your principles. Even though I have engaged in some dialogue with the government, I would never abandon the principles of democracy.

In contrast to Burma, Cambodia is under strong pressure from the international community, which has some power over the regime here because, unlike in Burma, the survival of the Cambodian regime is very much dependent on international assistance. Burma has been isolated for decades and the generals there don’t care too much about international pressure. Because of the international pressure, the Hun Sen regime is more willing to accept dialogue, real dialogue with the opposition.

Q: Would you like to say anything to the people in Burma?

A: I would like to tell the Burmese people that Cambodian people, like our Burmese brothers and sisters, love freedom and democracy. We support those who love and fight for freedom and democracy. We are confident that democracy will come to Burma. And the Cambodian people will be happy to do whatever they can do to help the Burmese people in their fight for democracy and human rights.



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