ASEAN to Sack Burma? Fat Hope!

ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) should consider expelling Burma if it does not release imprisoned Aung San Suu Kyi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday.

Asked on Thai television whether ASEAN should kick out the military-ruled member state if it does not free the pro-democracy leader, Mrs Clinton replied: “It would be an appropriate policy change to consider.”

Burma or “Myanmar” according to the buffoons and Neanderthals who run it  is ASEAN’s “problem child” since it joined the bloc in 1997. It recently sparked outrage by putting the Nobel Laureate on trial over an incident in which an American man swam to her lakeside house.

The ruling junta then snubbed United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon by refusing to let him visit Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangon’s notorious Insein prison, deepening concerns in the international community.

US President Barack Obama has described the court proceedings as a “show trial” and Burma has already been slapped with US sanctions for its detention of political prisoners.

Dear Mrs Clinton, ASEAN cannot and will not sack Burma.

ASEAN’s policy on Myanmar was first derived from the policy of “constructive engagement” initiated in 1991 by the Thai government of Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun. This policy was later regionalized as an ASEAN policy. ASEAN’s Myanmar policy, in other words, is a policy of Thailand.

For Thailand, the reasoning that led to the formulation of the constructive-engagement policy was based upon both realities and aspirations, according to its former deputy foreign minister, Sukhumband Paribatra: “Myanmar and Thailand [have] been permanent neighbors, sharing a 2,400-kilometer-long border. Most of this border has not been demarcated and passes through difficult mountainous and jungle terrain, inhabited by common ethnic groups, which historically both governments have not found it easy to rule.” The border of the two countries is also porous, with more than 70 passes, mostly in remote areas. Therefore events in Burma often have repercussions on Thailand.

In fact events in Burma often have repercussions on just about every other country not only in ASEAN but throughout Asia including China and India.

That’s because mega bucks from trade and other host-and-parasitic entanglements between these countries and Burma have made all these countries inextricably intertwined with each other as bed fellows.

In other words, dear Hillary, Burma has got ASEAN by the balls.

Sack Burma? No way, no how, no sacking, dear Hillary.

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