The Secretariat of ASEAN in Jakarta
Dozens of activists calling themselves the Solidarity Indonesia for the ASEAN Peoples (SIAP) have urged the Indonesian government, as chair of ASEAN
, to help resolve human rights abuses in Myanmar.
“What is most important for Indonesia as chair of ASEAN is to act and overcome the crises of democracy and human rights abuses in Myanmar,” one of 10 member states of the association, read a statement issued at a February 28 rally in front of the association’s secretariat in Jakarta.
According to the activists, the crises should be dealt with immediately. “The Indonesian government must show hope to both its people and people of other member states of ASEAN. It should be able to make ASEAN better,” they maintained.
Father Antonius Benny Susetyo, executive secretary of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference
Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, agreed that the Indonesian government should show its ability to other member states of the association.
“Indonesia can become a partner of other countries in the world by free and active politics,” said the priest.
According to him, the Indonesian government can play its diplomatic role in dealing with the military regime in Myanmar as well as in Thailand and Philippines.
A protester, Dedi, agreed. He said in his speech that the Indonesian government should show its ability in leading the association’s member states. “We support you,” he continued, asking the Indonesian government to soon put into effect the association’s programs.
Ponandang, who coordinated the rally, pointed out that the event was held to encourage the Indonesian government to help resolve human rights abuses in the region.