06 May '11, 10am

US-based rights group says making Myanmar the chairman of Asean would turn the regional body into a 'laughingstock'

US-based rights group says making Myanmar the chairman of Asean would turn the regional body into a 'laughingstock'

Myanmar President Thein Sein (left) and Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right) shaking hands during the former's arrival at the presidential palace in Jakarta. -- PHOTO: AFP JAKARTA - SOUTH-EAST Asian nations should reject Myanmar's request to chair their regional grouping in 2014 unless the government releases political prisoners and takes other concrete steps to improve human rights, a US-based rights group said on Friday. Leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, will gather in the Indonesian capital over the weekend to discuss regional security, economic developments and strategies to boost transportation links in the region. Among those attending will be Myanmar's president, Thein Sein, who heads the military-backed party that overwhelmingly won general elections late last year. After arriving in Jakarta on Thursday, M...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STI...

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