Myanmar set to create a headache for Asean once more

The foreign ministers of Laos and Myanmar signing a declaration admitting the two countries into Asean in 1997. PHOTO: ST FILE
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BANGKOK - Myanmar joined Asean in 1997 when the region was ravaged by a global financial crisis.

The next few years were excruciating. The European Union was appalled by Myanmar's human rights record, and Asean-EU ministerial meetings were repeatedly postponed. In 2005, the Myanmar regime - having rebuffed attempts to secure the release democracy figure Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest - was forced to give up its Asean chairmanship for the following year.

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