The Manila Times, March 13, 2013
With the death toll of Filipino Muslims killed in Sabah by Malaysian authorities rising to 62 and with reports of human rights abuses against our countrymen, where the heck is ASEAN?
Forgotten it seems is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, one of whose main purposes is to “promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries of the region”.
Ban Ki Moon, the secretary-general of the United Nationswhich consists of 193 member states last week issued a statement calling for “dialogue among all parties to end the (Sabah) conflict peacefully. He also urged “all parties to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance and act in full respect of international human rights norms and standards.”
Why hasn’t there been a similar statement – even just an innocuous one like “ASEAN is concerned over the fighting” — from ASEAN consisting of just ten member countries, whose two founders, the Philippines and Malaysia, are involved in this flashpoint in Southeast Asia?
Did our department of foreign affairs even ask ASEAN to persuade Malaysia not to throw its full, brutal force against the Sultan of Sulu’s men who had dug in in Lahad Datu and to give the government more time to talk to them? Or did it just forget to ask ASEAN?Continue reading