Wednesday, July 30, 2008

EU has soft power - What does Asean have?

Gwynne Dyer wrote for The Straits Times on July 28 that:

"What got Radovan Karadzic, in the end, was the “soft power” of the EU: The immense attraction of belonging to a continent-wide organisation that really does deliver benefits to its members. It’s a cumbersome organisation and frequently criticised for good reasons, but it offers Serbia a way back into civilised society.The EU is playing hardball: no formal discussions on membership until the other two “most wanted” men, Mladic and Hadzic, are also handed over to The Hague."

Mr Karadzic is linked to the 1995 Bosnian war during which Bosnian Serb troops killed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Srebrenica massacre, and the siege of Sarajevo claimed more than 10,000 lives.

Reflecting upon the role of Asean in this part of the world and what it has done to pressure Mynmar to release Aung San Suu Kyi and its political prisoners, I think we have fared quite miserably.

Asean most certainly does not have that kind of political clout to evoke such a change in the Burmese government's stance. Calls have been made to the regional bloc to do some soul searching, but have quite frequently fallen of deaf ears.

Is Asean a talk shop? Yes, but no one's listening anyway.



1 comment:

rem said...

catherine,
u mentioned our beloved asean! yay.
after karadzic, let's 'do' the burmese generals yah?
at least whack them in our blogs lah.