Friday, May 6, 2011

SBY to Send FM to Prepare Myanmar's Readiness

Jimmy Hitipeuw | Jumat, 6 Mei 2011 | 07:38 WIB
Reuters Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein (L) accompanied by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stand for the national anthem during a welcoming ceremony at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta May 5, 2011. Thein Sein is in Indonesia for a state visit and will attend the 18th ASEAN Summit from May 7-8.
JAKARTA, - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa to visit Myanmar to find out about that country’s preparedness to take up the ASEAN chairmanship in 2014 as it has requested.
Marty told a press conference about the result of Myanmarese President Thein Sein’s state visit to Indonesia at the Presidential office in Jakarta Thursday that the President basically noted Myanmar’s request for the ASEAN chairmanship in 2014. However, he said, the Myanmarese proposal needs to be discussed jointly by the other ASEAN heads of state.
"However, the President has especially instructed the foreign minister to pay a visit to Myanmar to contact the Myanmarese government for more detailed information on Myanmar’s readiness for the ASEAN chairmanship in 2014," Marty said.
Nevertheless Marty did not reveal the date of the visit. Myanmar has recently expressed its wish to chair ASEAN in 2014 as its turn to hold the ASEAN chairmanship in 2005 had been given to Malaysia as Myanmar was considered to be unprepared then.
In line of order, Myanmar was actually to assume the ASEAN chairmanship in 2015, and Laos in 2014, but the Myanmarese government was reported to hold negotiations with the Laotian government to change turn like Indonesia and Brunei in 2011 and 2013. But the ASEAN inter-parliamentary caucus for Myanmar (AIPMC) called on the ASEAN leaders to turn down the Myanmarese proposition.
President of AIPMC Eva Kusuma Sundari said the Myanmarese elections in November 2010 were no attempts toward peace and democracy, because the parliament as product of the general elections bowed to the military.
"Myanmarese pro-democracy activists said the military in Myanmar kept on controlling extra-parliamentary control significantly, and have direct access to military special funds," Eva said.
AIPMC believed that the Myanmarese government is still authoritarian and held many public leaders of different political inclinations. A similar call was made by Myanmarese pro-democratic activist Thwin Linn Aung who has asked the Myanmarese government to immediately stop its attacks against certain ethnic groups and start promoting inclusive dialogs to secure a transition to democracy and uphold human rights.