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Malaysia Considers Plan to Deny Burma ASEAN Chair


Reports from Kuala Lumpur say Malaysia's government is considering a proposal to deny Burma the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2006.

An aide to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says a motion will be introduced in parliament calling on Burma's military rulers to release pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest and speed up democratic reforms.

The aide says if the junta fails to make progress, Malaysia will seek to have Burma's rotation as ASEAN chair suspended and given to other countries "until democratic reforms are carried out."

Burma has introduced what it calls a "roadmap" to democracy, but the plan has been denounced as a sham by the international community.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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