March 13, 2010

Can Indonesia Save Burma?

Hamish McDonald, Sydney Morning Herald

AP Photo

An intriguing sidebar to the story of the Indonesian president's visit to Australia this week has been the additional insight into Jakarta's role in trying to solve South-East Asia's biggest problem: the brutal grip of Burma's military regime.

Burma is the most glaring bit of evidence for the critics of the Association of South-East Asian Nations, ASEAN. To them, the regional grouping's inability to persuade Burma's military junta to retreat from political power shows it up as a toothless tiger, unable to provide the foundations for a wider security arrangement in Asia, and its human rights standards to be set at the lowest common denominator.

Indonesian opinion makers here for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's visit privately expressed a lot of frustration that their...

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TAGGED: Indonesia, Burma, Australia, Jeff Kingston, Suharto, Aung San Suu Kyi, Agus Widjojo, Marty Natalegawa, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesian military, Association of South-East Asian Nations, Rangoon, Jakarta, democratic elections, foreign minister , President , Asia

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