Saturday, August 22, 2009

ASEAN to ask junta to let Suu Kyi take part in elections?

ASEAN's much-hyped letter to the Myanmar junta may call on the generals to allow Aung San Suu Kyi to take part in next year's elections, according to diplomatic sources.

The wording of the letter, which marks a departure from ASEAN's usual policy of non-interference in domestic matters, has yet to be finalised. But it is likely to call on the junta to give clemency to Suu Kyi, who was sentenced to 18 months house arrest for allowing American oddball John Yettaw to stay at her house without permission.

However, the letter, which is being pushed by Thai foreign minister Kasit Piromya and backed by Singaporean foreign minister George Yeo, is not likely to call for the release of all political prisoners, diplomatic sources said.

Instead, ASEAN is more likely to take a softer line, asking the junta merely to respect the judicial process and urging national reconciliation between the ruling generals and opposition politicians.

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