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Thailand Proposes Road Map for Burma  At Asia-Europe Meeting - 2003-07-24


Thailand has proposed an international forum to persuade Burma to free opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai suggested the idea on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) on the resort island of Bali.

Mr. Surakiart told reporters that Thailand had prepared a "road map" for Burma to release Aung San Suu Kyi and introduce democracy, and had already discussed it with Burma's military government. He did not reveal details.

Speaking about proposed international forum, Mr. Surakiart said it would bring together "like-minded" countries, organizations and groups within Burma.

On Wednesday, Philippine Foreign Minister Blas Ople revealed a plan to send a high-ranking delegation from Southeast Asian nations to Burma to press for the release of the jailed Nobel peace laureate. He did not say when the delegation will go to Rangoon.

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda has said the Asian and European officials will issue a joint statement after their talks end today (Thursday), calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burmese authorities arrested the Nobel laureate on May 30th, following clashes between her supporters and pro-government demonstrators in northern Burma. Since her arrest, European nations have called for strong measures against Burma's military government.

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