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ASEAN Lawmakers: China, India Should Press Burma on Reforms


A group of Southeast Asian lawmakers says regional governments should urge China and India to pressure Burma into implementing political reforms.

The lawmakers said today that China and India can help bring about Burmese reforms by using their close economic and military ties with Burma's military rulers.

The lawmakers belong to a committee (ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Caucus on Myanmar) that advises the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Burmese issues. A Singaporean member of the group, Charles Chong says the failure to bring reforms to Burma will increase tensions in the country and hurt the whole region.

The group's president, Malaysian lawmaker Zaid Ibrahim, says ASEAN could lose credibility as an international grouping if it cannot solve the Burmese issue.

The lawmakers made the comments after meeting on the sidelines of an ASEAN inter-parliamentary conference in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur.

ASEAN's 10 member nations called last month for Burma to restore democracy and release political detainees, including pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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