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ASEAN Lawmakers Urge Suspension of Burma  - 2004-11-28


Lawmakers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) say if Burma does not make progress towards democratic reforms, it should be suspended from the group.

In a joint statement following meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ASEAN lawmakers Sunday said Burma should be suspended and lose its chairmanship of the group in 2006 if no democratic progress is made.

The statement by more than 40 lawmakers also called for the restoration of legal and political authority to the elected Burmese parliament through free and fair elections.

Malaysian legislator Zaid Ibrahim said ASEAN leaders should raise the issue with Burma when they meet Monday in Vientiane.

The lawmakers' statement is non-binding on ASEAN members, who have a policy of not interfering in each other's internal affairs.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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