covering burma and southeast asia
Thursday, November 15, 2018


By The Irrawaddy Thursday, January 1, 1998

(Page 9 of 27)

The ministers made a conscious choice to blatantly ignore the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Burma’s citizens,” the ABSDF said in statement.

It said the decision had perfectly portrayed the reality of the “unconstructive engagement” policy of the Asean towards the Burmese people and their aspirations for democracy, and the realisation of human rights.

Slorc dampens birthday celebrations for Suu Kyi

Burmese military police prevented about a hundred of Aung San Suu Kyi’s supporters from visiting her Rangoon home to celebrate her 52nd birthday.

However, about 20 of Suu Kyi’s relatives and aides were allowed into her compound for a quiet ceremony in which she offered food to five Buddhist monks, a traditional merit-making ritual.

Asean agrees to Burma’s entry

Asean announced its decision to admit its final three members — Burma, Cambodia and Laos — in July, reaffirming their belief that this best serves regional and international interests.

The Asean foreign ministers hailed their controversial decision to “complete” the grouping, by expanding it to bring all 10 Southeast Asian nations into its fold, but critics warned that further repression was likely in Burma as a result.

The decision was made on the recommendation of the Asean Secretariat, which reported in detail on the three countries’ readiness to fulfill all technical requirements and economic and non-economic commitments of membership.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, chairman of the Asean Standing Committee, said the three new members would be given 10 years, beginning in 1998, to join the Asean Free Trade Area (AFTA).

NYC joins action to punish firms with Burma links

New York City became the eleventh US city to impose sanctions on Burma, as Mayor Rudy Giuliani signed a law barring contracts with companies operating in the country.

“We want to see major changes in Burma,” Giuliani said, describing conditions there as “beyond what the human conscience can tolerate.”

Critics of the junta have long viewed such a ban in New York City, the US financial capital and seat of the United Nations, as a major symbolic victory.

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