Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, June 9, 2003

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For IMMEDIATE Release

Recent Developments in Southeast Asia
Rep. Leach Schedules Tuesday Subcommittee Hearing

BACKGROUND: On May 30th, thugs with ties to the military junta in Burma ambushed the motorcade of democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, killing an undetermined number of her supporters, and halting two years of negotiations between the government and Burma’s fledgling democracy movement. On May 19th, Indonesia launched a massive military operation in the northwestern province of Aceh, ending a six-month ceasefire in a bloody, decades-long conflict between the Indonesian military and the Free Aceh Movement, a separatist guerilla organization. In the Philippines, the government faces continuing threats from multiple domestic insurgencies and terrorist organizations, most of which are based in the economically depressed, predominantly Muslim areas in the South, particularly on the island of Mindanao. In Cambodia, voters are scheduled to elect a new National Assembly on July 27th. It will be only the second parliamentary election since current Prime Minister Hun Sen staged an armed coup in 1997, killing many and driving other politicians, including his coalition partners from the royalist FUNCINPEC party, into exile.

WHAT: Oversight hearing: Recent Developments in Southeast Asia

Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Rep. James A. Leach, Chairman

WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 10, 2003

WHERE: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESS: Ms. Sidney Jones, Indonesia Project Director, International Crisis Group; Ms. Catharin E. Dalpino, Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, The Brookings Institution; Ms. Maureen Aung-Thwin, Director, Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative, Open Society Institute; Mr. Daniel Calingaert, Director of Asia Programs, International Republican Institute

Questions to be raised during this hearing:

bulletWhat is the truth behind the May 30th ambush of Burmese Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi by government-affiliated thugs? Does this renewed crackdown on democracy forces merit an expansion of U.S. sanctions against the Burmese regime?
bulletDoes the recently launched Indonesian military offensive in Aceh have a realistic chance of defeating the Free Aceh Movement (GAM)? Or do Indonesian military atrocities in that conflict run the risk of deepening separatist sentiment in that war-weary province?
bulletHow deeply should the United States become involved in combatting terrorist insurgencies in the southern Philippines? To what extent are those conflicts the result of indigenous inequities, and what are their ties to transnational terrorist organizations, such as Jemaah Islamiyah and Al Qaeda?
bulletWhat are the prospects for free and fair national elections in Cambodia this July? Is the recently-signed agreement for a UN tribunal a credible first step towards justice for the Khmer Rouge genocide in the 1970s, or a flawed concept subject to political manipulation?

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