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Nothing Less Than International Standards

Sixty-three human rights groups in South-east Asia have issued an open letter to the 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, expressing their call that the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration “will not be lower than international human rights norms and standards”. The draft declaration, the subject of criticism by rights groups who say it is too weak, is set to be adopted at the ASEAN summit in November 2012. The text of the open letter follows.

Activists Demand Consultations on Human Rights Document

In a joint statement released on April 8th (full text below), over 130 local, national and regional civil society organizations across the ASEAN region called on more consultations in drafting the ASEAN human rights declaration.

Myanmar Turns ASEAN’s Democracy Beacon

BANGKOK, Apr 12 (IPS) – Long Southeast Asia’s black sheep, Myanmar is
enjoying an image change following its landmark Apr. 1 by-elections.
Tongues are now wagging about the region’s new beacon of hope for
democratic change.

ASEAN Backs Burma’s Call to End EU Sanctions

BURMA, Apr 3 (Irrawaddy Magazine) – The Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (Asean) agreed on Monday to back Burma’s call for the European
Union to lift sanctions on the country, a day after a by-election in
which Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a
landslide victory.

20th ASEAN Summit Closes, Leaders Reaffirm Goals

PHNOM PENH, Apr 4 (ANTARA News) – The 20th ASEAN Summit held in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh has officially ended, following a closing session led by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE: Can the Maid Have Boyfriends?

SINGAPORE, Mar 20 (IPS) – A routine announcement by the government of this city-state entitling foreign, female domestic workers to a day off each week has sent their affluent employers into a tizzy. link: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=107134

ASEAN Attempts to Build on a Shared Language: Music

VIENTIANE, Feb 1 (IPS) – A landmark concert featuring artistes from
eight of the ten South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) took place here on
Jan. 21, in an effort to build a regional community through the common
language of music.

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