“Where is Surin Pitsuwan, Asean’s leader? As a former foreign minister of Thailand, he often criticized the junta’s abysmal human rights record. Now Asean has a human rights charter. Wouldn’t it be proper for Asean to exercise its human rights principles at this sad moment in Burma’s history by clearly and forcefully condemning Burma in the strongest possible language?”
While NGOs fly here and there, across Asia and Europe, trying to ‘lobby’ ASEAN to take up human rights issues, Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is languishing behind bars.
After their countless ‘touristy’ trips, they have the cheek to ask ASEAN to interfere and seek her release. Isn’t 19 years a bit too long, to still go on engaging ASEAN? Knowing that it can’t ever bear any fruit?
Anyway, ASEAN is an economic grouping and whatever it says about ‘human rights’ is merely its PR scheme. But NGOs prefer to pretend they can still have an influence over ASEAN leaders.
But while NGOs have so called ‘consultations, dialogues and engagement’ in five star hotels and trips round the world, people like Suk Kyi can never know freedom.
These NGOs have much to blame as the ASEAN leaders if not worse. ASEAN at least is clear about their intention. They’re interested in economy, in each other’s potential to enrich one another.
But the NGOs? Their wishy washy about their roles.How can you sit on the same table and become buddies with a group of people you know for sure can only pretend to help you but never did.
Unless you are pretentious yourselves.
You can’t imagine the amount of money and trips spend on ‘ASEAN engagement’. What is the result? Nothing, and more human rights abuses.
I hope NGOs can stop prostituting themselves to ASEAN and start doing some serious work. But the point is, these NGOs get lots of money from funders – western countries alike – to carry out their nonsensical work with ASEAN.
These funders, and the countries they represent, has as much to blame as well.
Suk Kyi is now frail in health and has been recently thrown into a notorious prison on new charges. Yes, the world is protesting. But without any real measures from World leaders and so called NGOs fighting for democracy, human rights and blah blah…
Suk Kyi’s life will diminish and we have only ourselves to blame.