[JURIST] Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win has called for the newly-established Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [official website] to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of ASEAN member nations. The comments, made during a Monday meeting to organize the new ASEAN human rights committee, indicate that Myanmar [JURIST news archive] may block attempts to give the new body any authority to investigate alleged human rights violations. Other member states reportedly objected to the restrictions on the committee, which critics note already lacks authority [JURIST report] to issue sanctions against member states which violate human rights. AP has more.
Myanmar signed on [ceremony speech; JURIST report] to a new ASEAN charter Monday, despite other ASEAN members' criticism [statement text] of the country's human rights record and continued detention of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The charter [PDF text] was designed to create stronger economic and security ties within the region, and Article 14 establishes a body to monitor human rights in member countries. Myanmar's inclusion in the in charter has long been controversial [JURIST report] because of its human rights record..