ASEAN calls for humane treatment over Suu Kyi trial, rules out sanctions

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) urged Myanmar Tuesday to take humane treatment for Suu Kyi and expressed grave concern but the chair of the Association ruled out sanctions over the military government.

On the second day of the closed trial, five prosecution witnesses testified against Suu Kyi, who is accused of violating her house arrest after an American citizen swam to her lakeside residence two weeks ago.

The charges, denied by the Nobel Peace laureate, have drawn international condemnation and calls for Asian governments to get tough with Myanmar's ruling generals.

The ASEAN chair Thailand said the group would not change its policy of engagement the regime.Events over the last week have raised concern and we expressed our concern very clearly, but our policy is to engage and continue to engage constructively, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said in Bangkok.

Thailand will not use strong measures or economic sanctions against Myanmar because it is not an appropriate resolution for the current problem, Foreign Ministry official Chavanond Intarakomalyasut told reporters on Monday.

The European Union said on Monday it is considering tougher measures against Myanmar. The EU also wants Asian governments to exert their influence on the regime and planned to raise the issue at an Asia-Europe meeting in Hanoi next week.

But Beijing said on Tuesday it would not interfere in the affairs of its neighbor.

The 63-year-old National League for Democracy leader has been detained for more than 13 of the past 19 years. Her latest house arrest is officially due to end on May 27 after six years.

Critics say the charges, which could see her jailed for five years, are aimed at keeping the Nobel Peace laureate in detention until after elections in 2010.