Despite criticism from the international community, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc remains largely silent on Burma. There is concern that Burma's role as an emerging economic player in Southeast Asia will cause regional leaders to shrink further away from condemnation as they look to coax its rulers into opening the doors to the country's vast natural resource capabilities.
ASEAN, with Burma as a member, stands in a unique position to pressure the country's leaders to release political prisoners and lift draconian restrictions on the media. There have been signs of frustration from ASEAN in the past, particularly when Burma's crises have impacted on neighbouring countries, but on the issue of the thousands of political prisoners, it has stayed quiet.
Please take action now to demand that ASEAN drop its policy of not interfering in the domestic affairs of member states, and ensure the issue of DVB's jailed journalists are raised on a par with Burma's other human rights violations.