ASEAN parliamentarians call for AICHR action on alleged atrocities in Myanmar

The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) reportedly released a press statement on 'Current Military Offensive and Rights Abuse by the Myanmar or Burma Army in Ethnic Areas' highlighting accusations about military atrocities against civilians in Shan and Kachin states and sexual violence against women and girls, including gang-rape.

“We call on the Myanmar Army to immediately end rights abuses, particularly the systematic use of rape as a weapon to suppress ethnic women and to urgently engage in peace talks with ethnic armed groups”, said Eva Kusuma Sundari, member of Indonesian Parliament and President of the AIPMC.

“The challenge is on ASEAN to live up to its responsibilities to protect the people of Myanmar. A meeting between the ASEAN Foreign Ministerial Meeting and the UN is needed to stop this human rights crisis and its negative impacts on neighboring countries and regional stability. The international community should press upon ASEAN the urgency of such a meeting”, she emphasised.

"AIPMC calls on the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) to monitor these rape cases closely, and ASEAN and its member states must turn down Burma’s application to be the bloc’s chair in 2014, until and unless the government takes genuine steps towards ending human rights violations in the country," the statement said.