Bangkok, August 8:

The ASEAN bloc must keep the pressure on military-ruled Myanmar to reform or risk losing its credibility, a human rights group said on Monday in a statement on the 17th anniversary of a doomed pro-democracy uprising. It said last month’s decision by the junta to forgo assuming the chair of the ASEAN in 2006, because of regional and international criticism, showed that such pressure worked. “The unprecedented pressure exercised on the Burmese junta over the chairmanship has boosted ASEAN’s integrity, locally and internationally,” Debbie Stothard, coordinator of the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean) said, using the country’s former name. “ASEAN should reinforce these gains by ensuring the regime actually delivers on its promises for political and economic reform,” he said.