There were two responses last week to the new communal violence in Myanmar. The Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) said it will meet in May to strengthen existing mechanisms and introduce new ones. The non-governmental Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemned the Myanmar government for declaring a state of emergency in the Mandalay region and sending in the army.
And if anyone thinks Asean is beclouding murderous human rights violations in Myanmar now, just wait until Myanmar itself takes the chair of Asean next year.
The Asean stonewall on continuing riots and deaths in Myanmar is hardly surprising. The group itself was nearly ecstatic in self-indulgent pride last November. That was when the summit at Phnom Penh produced "a landmark document that establishes a framework for human rights cooperation".
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