[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Saturday, October 27, 2007

[Beijing and Tokyo]
1. I am posting this blog from Tokyo after meeting Chinese FM Yang Jiechi yesterday and Japanese FM Masahiko Koumura today. My purpose was to consult them informally on the situation in Myanmar. I'll do the same with Indian FM Pranab Mukherjee next month before the ASEAN and East Asian Summits.

2. It is important for ASEAN, China, Japan and India to work together. Together, we can create a more favourable external environment for national reconciliation in Myanmar. Living here, we have a strong interest in maintaining stability in the region. If Myanmar dissolves into chaos, we will be adversely affected. Of course it is the Myanmar people who will suffer the most.

3. The Myanmar Government has made some efforts recently to improve the situation. The meeting between Labour Minister Gen Aung Kyi and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi two days ago was a start. UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari will be returning to Myanmar in early November to play the role of mediator. His role may prove decisive. He has our full support. The dialogue must be a genuine one, not for show. The progress made cannot only be to stave off international pressure during the Summit meetings. Or else, as Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said, we have a time bomb ticking away.

4. In the end, it is the people of Myanmar who must settle their own future. The military (the Tatmadaw) must be part of the solution. Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy must also be part of it. So too the many ethnic groups who make up the country including Christians and Muslims. As family members and friends, we can extend a helping hand and cheer them on.

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG


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