Oct 192014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/05/09MANILA1065.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA1065
2009-05-18 08:53
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO6644
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHML #1065 1380853
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 180853Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4148
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 001065

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/17/2019
PREL, BM, PGOV, PHUM, PREL, RP
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINES URGES IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF AUNG SAN SUU KYI

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires Larry Memmott, Reasons 1.4 (b) & (d)

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: In the aftermath of his May 16 phone
conversation with Secretary Clinton, Philippine Department of
Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alberto Romulo issued a blunt
statement on Sunday, May 17, calling for the immediate and
unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and urging Burma to
release democracy activists and hold free elections.
Although senior DFA officials assured the Embassy that they
will continue to press Burma for action regarding what they
characterized as “trumped-up charges” against ASSK and her
continued imprisonment, they suggested ASEAN’s
consensus-based decisionmaking and tradition of
noninterference in each other’s internal affairs may inhibit
rapid progress on an ASEAN-wide response. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs issued
an unusually strong policy statement May 17 condemning the
Burmese military junta’s imprisonment of democracy activist
Aung San Suu Kyi, calling for her immediate release and
saying it was “high time” for the junta to release all
political opposition activists and allow free and unfettered
elections. The rare Sunday policy statement came just one day
after Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo received a phone call
from Secretary Clinton to discuss the Burmese military
junta’s arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi.

¶3. (C) Senior DFA officials informed Post that the
Philippines would continue to follow up and press hard for an
ASEAN statement on Suu Kyi’s status, but it remained unclear
what form this might take. Given ASEAN’s consensus-based
decisionmaking process, Burma would refuse to endorse — and
thereby block — any ASEAN-wide statement. A chairman’s
statement by ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan may be
the best possible outcome at this time.

¶4. (SBU) Begin text of Philippine statement:

Statement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo on
the Detention of Aung San Suu Kyi at Insein Prison 17 May 2009

The Philippine Government is deeply troubled and outraged
over the filing of trumped up charges against Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi and her transfer to Insein prison, particularly when
concerns have been raised regarding her health condition.

These recent incidents will surely impede the process of
national reconciliation and the Roadmap to Democracy in
Myanmar.

We urge the government of Myanmar to resolve the matter
speedily, and to release Aung San Suu Kyi immediately and
unconditionally.

The Myanmar Government need not be sidetracked by the recent
trumped up charges. As we have conveyed earlier, it is high
time for the Myanmar Government to carry out its own
&Roadmap for Democracy8: its avowed program of releasing
political detainees, including unfettering the National
League for Democracy, and allowing its unconditional
participation in free elections.

Fulfilling these commitments is long overdue.

End text.

¶5. (C) COMMENT: The Foreign Secretary’s statement was
unusually robust, even given that the Philippines has been
ASEAN’s most proactive voice for moves toward democratization
in Burma and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. But foreign
affairs officials recognize they face a difficult task in
budging ASEAN from its consensus-based approach on Burma.
Memmott

   

 

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