Flying Sporran’s Weekend Dairy
With the Rohingya problem now right up there on the international stage along with it comes a spotlight on the ASEAN community which is trying to emulate the European Union but in the ASEAN way.
This apparently works as follows:
“The ASEAN Way refers to a working process or style that is informal and personal. Policymakers constantly utilize compromise, consensus, and consultation in the informal decision-making process…it above all prioritizes a consensus-based, non-conflictual way of addressing problems. Quiet diplomacy allows ASEAN leaders to communicate without bringing the discussions into the public view. Members avoid embarrassment that may lead to further conflict.” Masilamani and Peterson.
This may involve of course a certain amount of lying to, er, save face.
So far all the usual suspects, Burma or Myanmar, which has been forcing the Rohingyas out in what is fact becoming a genocide issue if it is not already, Thailand (which has been trafficking the Rohingyas for its own profit and allowing death camps on its soil), or Indonesia and Malaysia, (which have also taken negative roles in dealing with the problem) are washing their hands.
Myanmar has so far refused to deal with the problem or certainly end the persecution of the Rohingya, and the Burmese people seem to agree, including it would appear Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, thus disabusing the world of the hoary line that the country is full of tolerant, Buddhist, peace loving people, who would not so much as step on a cockroach.
Thailand has announced it will not be pro-active and then comes this from the Bangkok Post:
“Panitan Wattanayagorn, adviser to Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, yesterday said it was up to the US to take “real action” to address the problem. “It would be beneficial to Thailand and ASEAN member states if the US backs up its own words with real assistance, either financial support or technical assistance,” he said.
Yes, you read that right. Thailand will be asking the EU next.
ASEAN of course constitutes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and Vietnam.
Well with the exception of Singapore, and to a lesser extent Brunei, how many of these governments are considered clean and honest? Yes, none.
More than 20 per cent of foreign direct investment into ASEAN comes from the EU and the EU speaks from a high minded moralist point of view. Here in the UK for instance if I let my children out of my sight or did not send them to school for a few days I could be receiving a call from a policeman and possible criminal proceedings.
Yet the west has been buying fish and other products obtained under slave labour, watched how the Rohingya have been dying, tourists being murdered, and only recently, following media exposure I should add, are our governments grumbling little.
Trade it appears takes precedence over human lives, whether by an Indonesian firing squad, or plain abusive and inhumane treatment in Thailand and Myanmar. It’s no coincidence that the rape, pillage and murder of Vietnamese refugees in the 70’s happened at the hands of the (fisherman) pirates of present day ASEAN.
|Alan and Oi|
But I am puzzled as to what technical assistance Thailand wants from the United States though. They are well up on water-boarding. Perhaps the military men have been following ‘Star Trek’ and want a transporter to beam the Rohingyas to Fresno or Minneapolis-St. Paul.
ASEAN plans to open up its borders at the end of this year to allow free association and free trade between member countries, well sort of.
There is a typical ASEAN caveat. It will allow ‘skilled’ workers. Each member state still gets to refuse those it chooses to.
And finally of course I have to mention Alan Morison and Chutima ‘Oi’ Sidasathian of Phuketwan who have been at the front of all reporting on the Rohingya problem for over SEVEN YEARS!. Yes that’s right.
And all they have to show for it is a libel suit from the Royal Thai Navy claiming they have tarnished its name. If this case goes ahead it really will be the number one farce of the year.