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"From Proxy to Principle: Singapore's Myanmar Policy" - Special Report Release

"From Proxy to Principle: Singapore's Myanmar Policy" - Special Report Release
 
Date/Time: Mar 31, 2010 / 5.00pm
Venue: online
 

SINGAPORE, 31 MARCH 2010 - As the government of Myanmar prepares to adopt a new constitution and convene general elections later this year, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs is releasing a Special Report, “From Proxy to Principle: Singapore’s Myanmar Policy”, incorporating perspectives and offering considerations for Singapore’s continued engagement with Myanmar.



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

SIIA Presents Special Report, “From Proxy to Principle: Singapore’s Myanmar Policy”

SINGAPORE, 31 MARCH 2010 - As the government of Myanmar prepares to adopt a new constitution and convene general elections later this year, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs is releasing a Special Report, “From Proxy to Principle: Singapore’s Myanmar Policy”, incorporating perspectives and offering considerations for Singapore’s continued engagement with Myanmar.

“While barring Aung San Suu Kyi seems a step back, there is a need for credible elections, and efforts must be made to ensure that parties such as the National League for Democracy (NLD) can participate freely,” says SIIA Chairman Simon Tay. “The role of a moral but pragmatic international community cannot be understated. Even if, like an orchestra, different countries use different instruments and play different notes, the main theme must be consistent. Singapore's unique engagement and its involvement with ASEAN will make it a key player in addressing the Myanmar situation.”

Myanmar is at a critical juncture. It is important for countries to review their policies towards Myanmar, especially since it has immediate implications for the Southeast Asia Region. The report discusses Singapore’s Myanmar policy from five perspectives: government-to-government relations, trade and business, humanitarian aid, public opinion and international pressure. Three policy options were discussed: the Proxy Approach, where engagement with Myanmar continues normally; the Principled Approach, where Singapore disengages and sanctions Myanmar, or the Pragmatic Approach, which occupies a middle ground between the Proxy and Principled Approaches.

The Special Report was derived from a closed-door roundtable with representatives from the business, NGO, think tank and academic sectors, including those concerned with human rights violations, business and humanitarian assistance in Myanmar, as well as those more generally concerned with Singapore’s policies towards ASEAN neighbours.

The Special Report forms part of the Asia Society’s Current Realities and Future Directions in Burma/Myanmar, a collection of reports from leading institutes and experts in nine Asian countries and the United States. The collection underscores the changing circumstances inside and around Myanmar that could create a context for both risk and opportunity and result in consequences for the broader region. The initiative was directed by Suzanne DiMaggio, Director of Policy Studies at the Asia Society.

The reports draw on a series of Asia Society-sponsored dialogues that were carried out by leading experts and institutes throughout the Asian region. In addition to the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, other partnering Experts and Institutes in Asia were:

  • Sean Turnell, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Macquarie University, Australia
  • Rajiv Kumar, Director and Chief Executive, and Santosh Kumar, Senior Consultant, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations
  • Rizal Sukma, Executive Director, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia
  • Yoshiji Nogami, President, and Nao Shimoyachi, Fellow, Japan Institute of International Affairs
  • Tan Sri Mohamed Jawhar Hassan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia
  • Carolina Hernandez, Founding President and Chair, and Herman Joseph Kraft, Executive Director, Institute for Strategic and Development Studies, Philippines
  • Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Director, Institute of Security and International Studies, Thailand
  • A review of Chinese policy was conducted by experts and scholars in China working in their individual capacities

A copy of the SIIA’s Special Report may be downloaded here:
http://siiaonline.org/files/SIIA.Special.Report-10-1-MYANMAR.pdf

#####

For more information, please contact:
Singapore Institute of International Affairs
Ms. Lim May-Ann
may-ann.lim@siiaonline.org
office: +65-67349600, cell:+65-98471950

#####

About the SIIA
The Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) is an independent organization dedicated to the research, analysis and discussion of regional and international issues. A leading institution for policy-relevant research, the SIIA was recently ranked a top 15 think tank in Asia. As a founding member of the ASEAN-Institutes for Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN-ISIS) network, we work with partner think-tanks to organize regional and international dialogues, and share the resultant research and analysis with politicians, policy-makers, business leaders, opinion-leaders through our network and the media. Founded in 1961, we are Singapore’s oldest think tank. Please visithttp://www.siiaonline.org for more information.

About the Asia Society
Asia Society is the leading global and pan-Asian organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of the United States and Asia. We seek to increase knowledge and enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of arts and culture, policy, business, and education. Founded in 1956, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and Washington, DC. http://www.asiasociety.org 

 

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