Thu 22 Dec 2005
Filed under: International,News
Manila: With the Philippines’ upcoming chairmanship in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the United Kingdom has asked the Arroyo government to increase pressure on Myanmar (also known as Burma) to improve its human rights situation by following the roadmap to democracy it committed to years before.
In an interview with reporters, British Ambassador Peter Beckingham said on Thursday that his office raised the issue with Philippine diplomats and was happy with the response.
“We are very encouraged by the Philippine approach to the issue. It is not shy in taking a clear stand on Burma,” he said.
“We are concerned with the situation in Burma. Burma holds the highest interest in London,” especially with the recent recall of the British ambassador there, he said.
“Burma is a real problem and it is on the doorstep of the Philippines. It is a very big worry,” he added.
Beckingham said the situation in Burma was “very disturbing,” and cited the increased levels of HIV/AIDS cases and human rights violations that included rape and torture.
“There has not been any movement in the roadmap at all and there is deep concern. We hope the Philippines would put pressure on Burma for some movement there. We are pleased that Burma did not agree to head the ASEAN and that the Philippines is going to head it instead,” he said.