UN under pressure over Myanmar: Indonesia

UN under pressure over Myanmar: Indonesia

Daily Times

 * Jakarta’s FM says pressure mounting to bring Myanmar case back to UNSC

JAKARTA: The UN Security Council is under “growing pressure” to act against Myanmar’s military regime unless it takes more credible steps toward democracy, Indonesia’s foreign minister said Wednesday.

Hassan Wirajuda said Myanmar’s partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were consulting with Security Council member China and other countries to try to nudge the junta toward genuine democratic reform. “There’s growing pressure to bring the Myanmar case back to the UN Security Council. So we are not sitting quietly, we are doing what we can do to help … ensure a more credible process,” he told reporters.

“This is a difficult issue… and I don’t expect much that there will be a big change in Myanmar.” Indonesia is a non-permanent member of the Security Council and a founding member of ASEAN.

The United States, the European Union and Australia slapped tougher sanctions on Myanmar’s military regime in the wake of the bloody suppression of pro-democracy protests in September last year. Washington warned Myanmar’s military rulers last month that they must cooperate with UN mediator Ibrahim Gambari or face increased pressure from the council.

The generals plan to hold elections in 2010 under a new constitution which bars Aung San Suu Kyi from running for office and gives the military broad powers to intervene in government. “Myanmar claims to have a new constitution and these elections will be multi-party elections, but what is important for us at ASEAN is to ensure that a more credible process is taking place,” Wirajuda said.

He said the elections and the “follow-up transfer of power” in 2010 had to be “acceptable to the international community.”

Aung San Suu Kyi failed to attend a scheduled meeting with UN special envoy on Wednesday, prompting speculation she is taking a stand against the junta’s treatment of the emissary. The former Burma’s ruling generals threw a tight security cordon round the state guest house where Ibrahim Gambari and the 63-year-old Nobel laureate have held previous meetings, part of a UN “shuttle diplomacy” push to encourage political reform.

Gambari turned up in the morning, but the car carrying Suu Kyi failed to arrive. Gambari eventually left alone. agencies

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