Sathirathai, Myanmar, and Human Rights

In our last post, we pointed out that the Malaysian Press had suggested that Myanmar/Burma ASEAN relations were becoming a problem for Surakiart Sathirathai.

So, Sathirathai has announced that he will push for democracy in Myanmar if elected.  

“We know it is important that democracy must take place in Myanmar (Burma) as soon as possible and Aung San Suu Kyi should be released as soon as possible,” he added.

Of course, this comes in the context of concrete attacks by AHRC — who had previously attacked Sathirathai for his record on human rights inside Thailand –, this time on Myanmar:

Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Friday said Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai, Thailand’s candidate to be the next United Nations secretary general, could not be expected to do anything towards democracy or human rights in Burma.

In a statement issued Friday, the regional rights group said that Surakiart “had done nothing to advance political and social change in Burma, either as deputy prime minister or foreign minister”.

It described the Thai government’s relations with Burma as  “negligent” and business-oriented, the AHRC said that although Surakiart had had five years in which influence Burma’s military regime, he had “never taken advantage” of his position.

Indeed, in a trip to Myanmar last week, Thai PM Thaksin reported that he asked for her release. Of course, the purpose of his trip has been disputed. Thaksin said he went on ASEAN’s behalf. Stratfor says it was about illegal immigration. A number of Thai sources think that Thaksin went for his own personal business reasons (here, here, and here)

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2 Responses to “Sathirathai, Myanmar, and Human Rights”

  1. Chapter15 » Blog Archive » Human Rights dogs Sathirathai in Latin America Says:

    […] This week, Sathirathai goes to Argentina and Peru. The same human rights group that has attacked Sathirathai for his human rights record (here, here, and here) is now publicly asking the Foreign Minister of Argentina to raise this issue: The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) called on the Argentine Foreign Minister, Jorge Taiana, to raise the issue following the South American nation’s jailing this month of police officers for forced disappearances there. […]

  2. Ton Says:

    Sir/Madam:

    I used to be quite neutral to Dr.Surakiart Sathirathai, my Deputy Prime Minister, even though I should have been for him. BUT now I am behind his back 100% because of what AHRC has done–picking on my countryman all the time like never happened before in AHRC website–3 or 4 or 5 times in less than 2 weeks–your follw-up appeals were months in between. AHRC should write about other candidates in comparison in order to have a just overview of all 4 people from ASIA.

    I personally think that UNSG cannot do very much, anyway, to improve human rights conditions. Their own countries try to do their best and still yield not much. What can an external organization do to them when that organization cannot even reform ITSELF in the past several dacades!!

    TON S.

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