Carrots and Sticks for Democratisation in Bnrma: Policies of the EU and the ASEAN

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I lJNICEF, A Situalion Analysis of Myanmar's Children and Women, Yangon, lJNICEF, 1991. 1 .

2 The term 'Burman' denotes the ethnic majority, whereas 'Burmese' refer to all inhabitants of Burma.

3 David Baldwin, Economic Statecraft, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985.

4 The ASEAN emphasis on the non-interference principle is questionable due to its inconsistent application. In 1990, when the military junta launched an ethnic cleansing operation against the Rohingya Muslims in the western border region, some ASEAN states not only condemned the action but also lent moral and humanitarian support to the Rohingya resistance groups in Burma. 5 European Parliament, "Common Position Defined by the Council on the Basis of Article J.2 of the Treaty on European Union, on Burma/Myanmar", Press release, 28 October 1996. SLORC is the acronym for the State Law and Order Restoration Council - the ruling military bloc in Burma since 1988. It renamed itself SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) in November 1997. 6 EU's disincentive measures included: expulsion of military attaches from Burmese missions in Europe; an embargo on arms, munitions and military equipment; suspension of non-humanitarian aid and development programmes; a visa ban on senior SLORC members, senior officials and their families; and suspension of high-level bilateral governmental visits to Burma. The common position has been renewed every six months since 29 October 1996 up to the present time. The original position has even been made more comprehensive; for instance, a ban on transit visas has been added. 7 US Department of State, "Statement on US Sanctions Against Burma by Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright", Press release by the Office of the Spokesman, US Department of State, Washington D.C., 22 April 1997.

8 Agence France Presse, "Malaysia says Burma's entry into ASEAN promotes regional stability", 27 April 1997. 9 Agence France Presse, "ASEAN stands firm on Burma's entry despite Western pressure", I May 1997. Anwar's response came right after Hun Sen's palace coup in Cambodia calling for the association to adopt this new framework for 'constructive interventionism' to prevent any spill-over from domestic economic, social and political upheavals within the region. See Anwar Ibrahim, "Rethinking ASEAN", Newsweek, 21 July 1997; and "ASEAN must take proactive approach, says Anwar", Straits Times (Singapore), 15 July 1997. 1 ' See Kanjana Spindler, "Surin starts to move the mountain", Bangkok Post, 22 July 1998; and Ehito Kimura, "Thailand's coming challenge: Flexibility as the central plank in shaping our foreign policy", Bangkok Post, 7 August 1998.

See "Malaysian foreign minister met Suu Kyi in Myanmar", Reuters, 10 March 1998. 13 "It's About Time for ASEAN Members to Air Their Differences", Asiaweek, 10 July 1998.

Leon T. Hadar, U.S. Sanctions against Burma: A Failure on All Fronts, Washington D.C.: Cato Institute, Trade Policy Analysis No. 1, 26 March 1998. Johan Galtung, "On the Effects of International Economic Sanctions with Examples from the Case of Rhodesia", World Politics, Vol. 19, No. 3, 1967.

Donald L. Losman, International Economic Sanctions: The Cases of Cuba, Israel and Rhodesia, Albuquerque: University ofNew Mexico Press, 1979. " John Imle. "Keep Door Open in Myanmar", Journal ofCommerce, 28 February 1997. Elizabeth Rogers, "Economic Sanctions and Internal Conflict", in Michael E. Brown (ed.), The International Dimensions oflnternal Conflict, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996.

19 Ernest H. Preeg, "Unilateral Economic Sanctions in Asia", Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sub-committee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Federal News Service, 26 February 1998. 20 see Imle, op.cil.,1997. However, the employment creation argument is questionable for capital intensive and highly sophisticated investment project like natural gas production. Besides, several human rights groups have charged that the rural development project is a showcase to cover up the severe impact of forced relocations in the pipeline construction area. Robert A. Sirico. "Free Trade and Human Rights: The Moral Case for Engagement", Washington D.C.: Cato Institute, Trade Policy Briefing Paper No. 2, 17 July 1998.

22 William C. Johnston, Burma Foreign Policy, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963. 23 Chi-shad Liang, Burma's Foreign Relations: Neutralism in Theory and Practice, New York: Praeger, 1990. 24 For a detailed scenario of the foreign policy shift in the early 1960s, see Maung Maung Gyi, "Foreign Policy of Burma since 1962: Negative Neutralism for Group Survival", in F.K. Lehman (ed.), Military Rule in Burma since 1962, Singapore: Maruzen Asia, 1981. Gyi refers to 'negative neutralism' as a policy that (a) is inward-looking, xenophobic, and immature in its Weltanschauung, (b) fails to infuse dynamism into the nation's economy, and (c) lacks courage to pursue an active and leading role in regional matters. Burma went even deeper into isolation when it decided to withdraw from the Non-aligned Movement in 1979.

25 David 1. Steinberg, Crisis in Burma: Stasis and Change in a Political Economy in Turmoil, Institute of Security and International Studies, Bangkok: Chulalongkom University Press, 1990.

26 "ASEAN stand on Burma draws flak", The Nation (Bangkok), 25 July 1992.

27 "Myanmar Monsters", The Economist, 15 March 1992. 28 Ashraf Abdullah, "Anwar: Rich Southeast Asian Nations Must Help", New Straits Times, 1 June 1996.

29 Jusuf Wanandi, "ASEAN Summit produces major results", ASEAN Update, Vol 1, January- February 1996. 3° Anuraj Maihbhandu, "Regional Unity under ASEAN a Necessity", Bangkok Post, 15 December 1995. Dato Ajit Singh, "Towards one Southeast Asia", ASEAN Economic Bulletin, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, November 1997. Singh was Secretary-General of the ASEAN and undertook an evaluation on the preparedness of Burma for admission to the association. Three criteria were examined: tariff reduction, political stability, and an English-speaking bureaucracy. Burma was praised for being better prepared than the other two candidates, Cambodia and Laos. Also see, "Myanmar more prepared than Cambodia and Laos to enter ASEAN", Xinhua News Agency, 1 December 1996. 3z The debate on the ASEAN achievements in economic co-operation remains heated. For instance, John Ravenhill has seriously questioned the official rosy picture. See John Ravenhill, "Economic co-operation in Southeast Asia", Asian Survey, Vol. 25, No. 9, September 1995. 33 In early May 1997, Beijing formally announced the beginning of the Irrawaddy Corridor Project on the basis of a new agreement, which, according to the Yunnan Province authorities, covers "the joint development of the Irrawaddy River, a major inland river of Myanmar, to open a new, short channel to the Indian Ocean." En Clare, "Beijing consolidates its hold on Myanmar", Defense & Foreign Affairs' Strategic Policy, International Media Corporation, July 1997.

3° William Ashton, "Chinese Bases in Burma - Fact or Fiction?" Jane's Intelligence Review, Vol. 7, No.2, 1 February 1995. 3s paul Dibb, Towards a New Balance of Power in Asia, Adelphi Paper No. 295, International Institute of Strategic Studies, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. 3s Far Eastern Economic Review, 4 August 1994. Mohan Malik, "Burma's role in regional security - Pawn or Pivot?" in Robert 1. Rotberg (ed.), Burma: Prospects for a Democratic Future, Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1998.

38 Amartya Sen, "Human rights and Asian values", New Republic (Washington D.C.), 14-21 July, 1997. '9 Hilde Selbervik, Aid as a tool for promotion of human rights and democracy: What can Norway do?, Oslo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Evaluation Report 7.97, October 1997.

'0 Council of the European Communities, Commission of the European Communities, Treaty on European Union, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1995. 41 Development Assistance Committee, "Participatory Development and Good Governance", OECD, Paris, 1995. 42 Michel Camdessus, "Good governance' has become essential in promoting growth and stability", Address to Transparency International on 21 January 1998, IMFSurvey, Vol. 27, No. 3, 9 February 1998.

43 European Union, Common Position 96/635/CFSP defined by the Council on the basis of Article J.2 ofthe Treaty on European Union, Official Journal No. L. 287, Vol. 8, No. 1 l, 28 October 1996.

44 Kulachada Chaipipat, "EU sets conditions for Rangoon", The Nation (Bangkok), 29 July 1997. 45 Kavi Chongkittavorn, "EU, ASEAN risking it all over Burma", The Nation (Bangkok), 13 November 1997.

46 "ASEAN Steps up Pressure on EU", The Nation (Bangkok), 12 November 1997. Kavi Chongkittavorn, "EU, ASEAN risking it all over Burma", The Nation (Bangkok), 13 November 1997 as Ibid, 49 "EU-ASEAN ties set to remain chilly", The Nation (Bangkok), 15 November 1997.

50 "Blowing Hot and Cold", Far Eastern Economic Review, 2 July 1998.

51 "Doors slam on Burma", Far Eastern Economic Review, 8 October 1998. 52 "French minister not keen on santions on Burma", Bangkok Posr, 22 October 1998. 53 EU Press Release: Luxembourg (26 October 1998) - No. 12274/98 (Presse 351 ).

s4 "Analysis: ASEAN-EU ties tested by Myanmar", Reuters, 17 March 1999. ss William J. Long, "Trade and Technology Incentives and Bilateral Co-operation", in David Cortright (ed.), The Price for Peace: Incentives and International Conflict Prevention, New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997. 56 David Rowe, "1fie Domestic Political Economy of International Economic Sanctions: The Case of Rhodesia." Paper presented to the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Washington D.C., 1999. The paper explains how the target government can manipulate the sanctions by shifting economic rents to the favoured group in return for political resistance to the sanctions. Cases in point include Haiti, Castro's Cuba, and Hussein's Iraq.

57 "Than Shwe boasts ASEAN to rival Western bloc", The Narion (Bangkok), 31 July 1997. 58 "Altas defends Burma's membership of ASEAN", Bangkok Post, 14 December 1995. 5' Aung Shwe Oo and Peter Janssen, "Burmese Regime Looks Forward to Legitimacy Boost from ASEAN", Thailand Times, 23 July 1997.

60 Stefan Collignon, "The Burmese Economy and the Withdrawal of European Trade Preferences", EIAS Briefing Paper, No 97/02, April I 997, p. 10. Europe (News service of the EU), No. 6948, 5 April 1997. s2 Bangkok Post, 7 October 1998.

s3 According to Reuters, I December 1998, his statement to parliament was as follows: "I have been told today that the Burmese authorities will not allow me to visit Burma, and 1 see that probably as an accolade for the work that we have done and the fight we have made for democracy and human rights in Burma." s° Geaders Magazine, vol. 21, no. 2, January 1999, (at htm). ). 65 "Sanctions failing to sway Myanmar", The Japan Times, 5 February 1999.

He said this to diplomats according to a state-run newspaper, The New Lights of Myanmar, 3 January 1999. 67 "Diehard Optimist", Far Eastern Economic Review, 7 May 1998.

6S Leslie Kean and Dennis Bernstein, "Aung San Suu Kyi", Progressive (Madison,WI), March 1997. 69 Roger Mitton, "Interview with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi", Asiaweek, Special Online Edition, 11 I June 1999 � 4-S.htm)).

Daw Aung San Suu K "Nudge Burma Towards Democrac " The Nation Ban kok 13 Jul 1999. 71 UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur, Rajsoomer Lajlah, said in his latest reports that human rights conditions continued to deteriorate in Burma. See Reuters, 15 March 1999.

Earth Rights International and Southeast Asian Information Network, Total Denial: The Report on the Yadana Pipeline Project in Burma, Bangkok, July 1996. The report can be obtained on-line at I. 73 M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra, "Burma, ASEAN, Democracy, Dreams and Realities", The Nation (Bangkok) 16 July 1999. The author is the Deputy Foreign Minister of Thailand and presented his own perspective on Burma in response to Burmese Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's article, "Nudge Burma Towards Democracy", which appeared in the 'Voicing my thoughts' column of The Nation (Bangkok) on 13 July 1999.

" lbid. 'S Xinhua News Agency, 16 October 1998. 76 Stephen Mansfield, "Myanmar's Chinese Connection", The Japan Times, 12 May 1999. 77 Mohan Malik, "Burma slides under China's Shadow", Jane's Intelligence Review, I July 1997.

78 En Claire, "Beijing Consolidates Its Hold on Myanmar", Defense & Foreign Affairs' Strategic Policy, July, 1997 79 Bertil Lintner, Burma in Revolt: Opium and lnsurgency since 1948, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994. 80 The Nation (Bangkok), 14 January 1999. Reuters, 22 February 1999. Shan State Army leader, Col. Yod Suk, commented to reporters at an Interpol meeting in Rangoon. 82 U.S. Department of State, International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Washington D.C: U.S. DOS, 1997. 83 Bangkok Post, 9 November 1997. It has been estimated that 8 million amphetamine tablets are smuggled each month from Burma.

84 Economist Intelligence Unit, Myanmar: EIUCountry Report 1st Quarter 1999, London, 1999.

85 Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund issued new instructions on aid conditionality, stressing its concern for governance,. For details, see Harold James, "From Grandmotherliness to Govemancc: The Evolution of IMF Conditionality", Finance and Development, Washington D.C.: IMF, December 1998.

The persistence of unlawful trespassing and attack on refugee camps within Thailand by Rangoon's militia caused security nightmares for Thailand. This and other factors forced Thai foreign policy analysts to reconsider the value of being an ASEAN member. See "To Stay, or Not to Stay", Asiaweek, Intelligence Section, 23 April 1999, p. 12.

87 United Nations General Assembly, "Situation of human rights in Myanmar", Fifty-third session, Third Committee Agenda item 110 (c), 13 November 1998. 88 "Myanmar aid-for-talks dialogue to resume this year", Agence France Presse, 2 June 1999. 89 Several EU and ASEAN diplomats participated in the 12-23 October informal, closed-door meeting at Chilston Park in the southeastern town of Kent in England to map out strategies for UN mediation in Burma. See Suthichai Yoon, "Carrot from Chilston to Rangoon", The Nation (Bangkok), 3 December, 1998.

90 Quoted from Aung San Suu Kyi's address to the international conference, Burma at the Crossroads, held in New York, 23 October 1996 with the sponsorship of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

ALTSEAN, Report Card: SLORC's progress as a member of ASEAN, Bangkok, Alternative ASEAN Network, November 1997.

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