Text of Letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Senior General Than Shwe, Chairman, State Peace and Development Council, Union of Myanmar. Original MFA press release is here. Salient portions have been highlighted.
29 September 2007
In Singapore’s capacity as the ASEAN Chair, I write to express the deep concerns that other ASEAN leaders and I share over the very grave situation in Myanmar.
I have discussed this matter with all the other ASEAN leaders. We are most disturbed by reports of the violent means that the authorities in Myanmar have deployed against the demonstrators, which have resulted in injuries and deaths. The videos and photographs of what is happening on the streets of Yangon and other cities in Myanmar have evoked the revulsion of people throughout Southeast Asia and all over the world.
We agree that the confrontation that is unfolding in Myanmar will have serious implications not just for Myanmar itself, but also for ASEAN and the whole region. Hence, our Foreign Ministers issued a firm statement in New York, strongly urging your government to exercise utmost restraint, and to work towards a political solution for national reconciliation and a peaceful transition to democracy. ASEAN also called for the release of all political detainees, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. I attach a copy of this statement.
The ASEAN Leaders fully support the mission by the Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ibrahim Gambari. He has gone to Myanmar to help all parties involved find a peaceful resolution. I would like to emphasise the importance which the ASEAN countries, and indeed the whole international community, attach to Mr Gambari’s mission. We strongly urge your government to grant Mr Gambari full access to all parties in Myanmar, as you have done in the past, and to work with Mr Gambari to try to find a way forward.
ASEAN’s concerns are for the welfare of the people of Myanmar, for a return to stability and normalcy, and for Myanmar to take its place among the comity of nations. I hope you will consider these views in that spirit.
LEE HSIEN LOONG