Monday, December 10, 2007
Reference: World losing patience with junta, Bangkok Post, December 11, 2007
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is reported to have said in Bangkok yesterday that his patience with the Burmese junta was running out. Accordingly, he is willing to raise the Burma issue at the UN-ASEAN summit next year and he has received a pledge from Thailand's Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont that guarantees Thailand's full support to UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari. These words are music to the junta's ears. It must make them happy to know that so deep is the lake of patience in Ki-Moon's heart that it has yet to run out and that the river of patience is still flowing like the Irrawaddy and guaranteed to keep flowing for at least another year. Buying time with trickery is their game and Mr Ki-Moon has signaled that he will play. As for Mr Surayud, he was actually given a chance to support Mr Gambari at the ASEAN summit in Singapore but he gave his support to the Burmese junta instead and he reiterated at that time that the internal affairs of Burma were strictly off-limits to ASEAN. The veto powers exercised by Burma at the ASEAN summit show that Burma can change ASEAN but ASEAN cannot change Burma. Mr Ki-Moon's choice of ASEAN and Mr Surayud as his bulldogs to bring democracy to Burma assures the junta that it shall be business as usual and the status quo for the foreseeable future.