Myanmar won admission to Southeast Asia’s economic bloc, a relationship present members insist will help them persuade the regime to improve its human rights record. Myanmar, along with Cambodia and Laos, will join the Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, in July. The expansion will fulfill ASEAN’s dream of including all 10 Southeast Asian nations. The military has ruled Myanmar, whose name it changed from Burma, since 1962. Troops quashed pro-democracy protests in 1988 and killed thousands of demonstrators. The seven ASEAN foreign ministers acknowledged human rights concerns over Myanmar but said their influence will be improved when it joins.
Economic Bloc Admits Myanmar
From Times Wire Reports