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THAILAND: Senate to debate Burma's Asean chairmanship
Bnagkok Post ^ | 19 April 2005 | SUPAWADEE SUSANPOOLTHONG

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.

KEYWORDS: asean; aungsansuukyi; burma; democracy; politics; southeastasia; thailand

1 posted on 04/18/2005 4:17:05 PM PDT by LwinAungSoe
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To: LwinAungSoe

Activism/Chapters - Activism, protests, news and business of Free Republic Chapters. Freep this poll should be placed in vanity. General news stories about activism should be place in news. After action reports from Freeps are allowed here.

2 posted on 04/18/2005 4:34:05 PM PDT by TomServo ("Speak to me, fudge wall")
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To: LwinAungSoe

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....
mingalabar LwinAung

3 posted on 04/18/2005 4:42:43 PM PDT by injin
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To: injin
Thank you for your comment. I think it is and will be right for Mr Kraisak Choonhavan to take up Burma's issue to keep Burma's generals out of ASEAN prestige and future prospects. This is also a bold step to rethink the current Thai policy on the Burmese junta. Besides, Deputy PM Mr Surakiat endorsed by ASEAN to take the UN Chief seat will find an opportunity for his dream if Mr Thaksin's stance is to support Burma's democratization, not the military junta.
Mingalaba Injin.
4 posted on 04/19/2005 6:13:50 AM PDT by LwinAungSoe
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To: LwinAungSoe
dear Nai Lwin ; it will be interesting to see what excuses or artful dodges Khun Taksin will make to dance around this issue
I would like to see a list of all the companies and partnerships , involving investment and infrastructure development in Myanmar that Taksin has hand in ....It would be a long list no doubt. My feeling is that he should publicly excuse himself from anything to do with this debate due to conflicts of interest. ASEAN will bring great shame upon itself , before the entire World , if it makes the mistake of handing the chairmanship to the not-so gentlemen in Rangoon with the fruit salad on their chests....
5 posted on 04/19/2005 1:10:23 PM PDT by injin
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