Working Group Statement
Statement of the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights
Mechanism on the Myanmar Situation
The Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism
(Working Group) urges the Government of Myanmar to respect
the fundamental rights of all its citizens. Any act of
violence against the people of Myanmar cannot be condoned
as it is against the principle of human rights. Maximum
tolerance and non-violence must be deployed in engaging
those who are merely exercising their right to freedom
of expression in their protests for human rights, freedom,
In this regard, the Working Group joins those who have
called for the release of all political detainees and
those who can contribute to the process of national reconciliation,
including Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. We commend the Government
of Myanmar for allowing the entry of U.N. Special Envoy
Ibrahim Gambari into the country to help defuse the situation.
All parties who are interested in efforts for renewal,
including the National League for Democracy and members
of the international community, should be invited to open
It is ASEAN’s stand to see democracy improve in
Myanmar. In 1997, Myanmar was granted entry into ASEAN
on the basis of its long-term plans towards democratization.
As part of ASEAN, the Government of Myanmar should aspire
for, as stated in ASEAN Vision 2020, “a
peaceful and stable Southeast Asia where each nation is
at peace with itself and where the causes for conflict
have been eliminated, through abiding respect for justice
and the rule of law”. As such, the Working Group
encourages the Government of Myanmar to stay the course
in its roadmap to democracy and to honor its commitments.
With regard to this, the Working Group urges Myanmar to
consider ASEAN Standing Committee Chair George Yeo’s
statement on the situation: “the situation in Myanmar
affects all ASEAN countries. We hope that the Myanmar
authorities and all other parties in Myanmar will appreciate
the broader implications of their actions on the region
as a whole and act accordingly”.
The Working Group supports the national renewal of Myanmar,
where all its citizens are given the chance to live in
freedom and dignity.