Press Release from ASEAN INTER-PARLIAMENTARY MYANMAR CAUCUS
The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) calls on ASEAN leaders to urgently
meet to deliver new and effective policies and mechanisms that are desperately needed vis-a-vis Myanmar’s military junta that will enable a tangible and lasting solution to the country’s crisis.
Members of Parliament from various ASEAN countries, at a forum co-organised and co-hosted by the AIPMC, ‘Friends of Burma’, the Regional Centre for Social Science and Sustainable Development, and the Centre for Ethnic Studies and Development of the Chiang Mai University delivered strong messages to ASEAN leaders calling for change in the dire situation in the military ruled nation.
“There has been a considerable increase in military offensives and armed fighting in ethnic states especially in the Karen State over the past few weeks. Ethnic communities are fleeing their villages into Thailand while some remain as internally displaced persons in Burma,” said AIPMC President
“Where is the intervention and assistance by ASEAN’s leaders? Recent reports indicate soldiers in Eastern Burma have recruited up to 200 civilians as slave labourers and more than 4,000 civilians have been forced to abandon their homes while 4,000 more are at risk.”
AIPMC Senior Adviser Loretta Ann P Rosales added that in the Shan State, acts amounting to systematic sexual violence are used by Myanmar’s military as weapons of war.
“Testimonies and documentation by Shan people, fleeing their homes, indicate that women and children are subjected to rape and torture by soldiers,” said the former Philippines Congresswoman adding that since 2001 till now, there have been 297 rape cases in Shan State alone.
“This is outrageous and unacceptable. AIPMC condemns such acts by the regime and armed groups.
We insist that ASEAN uses its human rights charter to investigate and put a stop to such atrocities,” stressed Loretta at the sidelines of the event marking Aung San Suu Kyi’s 64th birthday.
Parliamentarians M. Kulasegaran and Charles Chong, from Malaysia and Singapore respectively,reminded ASEAN that its ‘constructive engagement’ with the military regime has failed.
“It’s all about dollars and cents at the end of the day for governments such as Malaysia whom invest with a military that uses the money to repress and harm its leaders like Aung San Suu Kyi and its citizens and not help them at all,” said Kulasegaran.
Participants at the event, primarily from Chiang Mai University’s academia, delivered messages of support and solidarity to Aung San Suu Kyi who celebrates her birthday once again in detention.
For media contact or to facilitate interviews with Parliamentarians, please contact AIPMC Executive Director Roshan Jason at +6012-3750974