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Burma Says ASEAN Rights Body Should be Consultative


Military-ruled Burma says it would support the creation of a human rights body for Southeast Asian countries, but does not agree that such a commission should be used for what it calls "shame and blame."

Earlier this week, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations - ASEAN agreed, during meetings in Manila, to establish a human rights commission.

The proposal is part of a draft charter for the regional body that is hoped to be approved during an ASEAN summit later this year.

Thaung Tun, a member of Burma's delegation to this week's meetings, said that the proposed human rights commission should be a "consultative body."

Other ASEAN members want to give the commission the ability to investigate allegations of abuse.

Burma has long been a problem for the 10-nation group because of its poor human rights record and its detention of activists, including Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Foreign ministers who attended the ASEAN meetings in Manila this week voiced concern about Burma's continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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