ASEAN officials agreed to ask their foreign ministers to appeal to Myanmar for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi.
After meetings in Jakarta on Thursday and Friday, the officials agreed on the need to make a much stronger gesture to Myanmar. ASEAN's previous stance was to merely express "deep disappointment".
"We have agreed to recommend that our foreign ministers send a
legitimate concern *over Suu Kyi* to Myanmar," Foreign Ministry
Secretary-General Imron Cotan told The Jakarta Post via telephone.
"It is up to our foreign ministers to reject or accept our recommendation," he said. There continues to be questions whether the Foreign Ministers will endorse the initiative as a whole. It is unprecedented for ASEAN to make such a public and united request of a member country, especially on such a politically sensitive issue.
Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said there was a polarization
during the officials' meeting between those that wanted stronger action
against Myanmar and those that wished to gather more infor-mation and
deeper discussions on the issue.
Sources: "ASEAN Officials urge appeal to free Suu Kyi", Reuters India, 21 Aug 2009, http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-41884920090821
Ary Hermawan, "ASEAN to appeal for Suu Kyi's participation in elections", Jakarta Post, 22 Aug 2008, http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/08/22/asean-appeal-suu-kyi039s-p...