Skip to comments.THAILAND: Senate to debate Burma's Asean chairmanship
Posted on 04/18/2005 4:17:04 PM PDT by LwinAungSoe
The Senate plans to hold an urgent meeting to clarify its stance on the controversial question of Burma taking up the rotating chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) next year.
Senator Kraisak Choonhavan, chairman of the Senate committee on foreign affairs, told the Senate yesterday the time had come to make it known to the world whether Thailand was also opposed to Burma becoming Asean chairman.
Mr Kraisak said Thailand needed to make its stand clear since many Asean nations now publicly oppose Burma being given the post.
Moves to block Burma's succession were made during the recent Asean foreign ministers meeting, with the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia being the key opponents to Burma taking up the job.
The US has also announced that it would not send its secretary of state to future Asean meetings if Burma took over the chairmanship, he said.
``Thailand is under heavy criticism for sticking to an unclear stance as to whether she would support Burma or not.
``As long as the issue is left undecided, Thailand's image will be tarnished in the eyes of the world community and this may also affect her free trade agreements with the US,'' Mr Kraisak said.
He said earlier representatives from the Southeast Asian nations, together with 79 Thai senators, had signed their names in a petition to oppose Burma's succession because it had refused to pay heed to repeated international calls to release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners and put Burma back on the road to democracy.
In response to Mr Kraisak's request, Senate Speaker Suchon Chaleekrua asked the senator to propose the issue as an urgent motion so that the Senate could consider it immediately.
Mr Suchon also promised to order an investigation into an allegation made by Senator Somkiart Onwimol, of Suphan Buri, that some senators had received money from certain politicians, which is contrary to the constitution.
The speaker also said a Senate committee was sounding out the opinions of members of relevant organisations on whether or not it should push for any changes to the constitution.
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it is interesting that Mr. Kraisak Choonhavan would be taking up this issue , as it was in the time of his father , former Thai PM Chatchai Choonhavan , that many of the wink & nod policies towards Burma/Myanmar that Thailand still follows today were more or less instituted. The deep under currents of business interests over human rights . But I do agree Thailand needs to be far less ambiguous and more confrontational with Burma/Myanmar , and especially within the ASEAN framework .
ASEAN cannot possibly give chairmanship to Myanmar at this time , it would be a travesty . But with Mr. Taksin at the helm in Muang Thai any such thing is possible and even probable , due to his many business interests.
Imagine if President Bush owned Halliburton or Bechtel !
it's about the same with Taksin and Myanmar....
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