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Burma tippled to join ASEAN.

		Burma tippled to join ASEAN

	ASEAN faces a tough decision over the admission of Burma, but the 
group's determination not to be dictated to by the West will finally tilt 
the balance Singapore's leading newspaper said today.

	"Myanmar's admission to the Association of South-East Asian 
Nations is a delicate issue for the grouping," commented The Straits 
Times, which often reflects official thinking.

	Myanmar is the official name of army-ruled Burma, condemned by 
the United States and western Europe for widespread human rights abuses.

	Washington, which slapped a ban on US investments in Burma last 
week, is trying to persuade ASEAN to turn down Burma's application over 
its 'woegul' human rights performance.

	In an editorial, The Starits Times said ASEAN's policy of 
'constructive engagement" towards Burma and the effectiveness of American 
sanctions was not in question.

	"The real question is whether the world is ready for an ASEAN 
with Myanmar as a member," the newspaper said.

	"It has arisen because of the hardline position against Myanmar 
taken by the United States and Western Europe.

	"The delicacy of the issue stems not least from ASEAN's adherence 
to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other 

	ASEAN foreign ministers are meeting this month to discuss Burma's 
admittance, expected to come in July or September.


In Rangoon, Burma's army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Tin Oo, said 
traitors within the country are turning into "terrorists" with foreign 


[AFP, Reuter, 1 May 1997].