ASEAN leaders tell General Burma Coup to end the killing

Jakarta in Indonesia — Southeast Asian leaders killed in Burma and released political detainees at an emergency summit with top generals and coup leaders who did not reject them altogether, according to the Malaysian Prime Minister Requested immediate termination of.

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations also told Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at a two-hour meeting in Jakarta that dialogue between opposing parties in Burma (also known as Myanmar) was assisted by the ASEAN Special Envoy. He said it should start immediately.

“The situation in Myanmar is unacceptable and should not continue. We must stop violence and immediately restore Myanmar’s democracy, stability and peace,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in a meeting. “The interests of the people of Myanmar must always be a priority.”

Daily shootings by police and soldiers since the February 1 coup have killed more than 700 almost peaceful protesters and bystanders, according to some independent tally.

The message delivered to Min Aung Hlaing was unusually dull and could be seen as a breach of the basic principles of the block of 10 conservative countries that prohibited member states from interfering with each other’s problems. However, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that if the domestic situation “endangers peace, security and stability in ASEAN and the wider region,” policies should not lead to inaction, and there is an international cry for decisive action. Stated.

“There are great expectations on the part of the international community about how ASEAN is tackling the Myanmar issue. Pressure is rising,” Muhyiddin said. The current ASEAN Chair, Hassanal Bolkiah, the Secretary-General of Brunei, and Brock’s Secretary-General should be granted access to Burma to meet with opposing political parties, encourage dialogue, and come up with “honest and equitable observations.” He said.

Such political dialogue “can only take place by the prompt and unconditional release of political detainees,” said the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

ASEAN leader
Indonesian President Joko Widodo (C), following the ASEAN Summit at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia, (LR) Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Minister of Economic Affairs Airanga Hartart, and Cabinet Secretariat Pramono Anun The Secretary listens. April 24, 2021. (Indonesian presidential palace via AP, Muchlis Jr)

A formal statement issued by ASEAN through Brunei after the summit provided a more subtle overview of the demands of the six heads of state and the three foreign ministers. It called for an “immediate stop of violence in Myanmar” and urged all parties to “exercise maximum restraint”, but urged Widodo and other leaders to immediately release political detainees. The request was omitted. ASEAN said it would provide humanitarian aid to Burma.

Muhyiddin said at a press conference late Saturday that Min Aung Hlaing would find a way for ASEAN leaders to solve the problem and agreed that violence had to be stopped.

“Our proposal was accepted and his response general did not reject (they),” Muhyiddin said. “This is a very encouraging progress.”

When asked about Min Aung Hlaing’s response to a request to stop violence, Muhyiddin said, “I don’t care who is causing it. I have to stop the violence.” Said he tried not to blame his side too much.

“For him, it’s the other side that’s causing the problem,” Muhyiddin said. “If so, I hope the ASEAN representative will find a way to stop it before going to Myanmar.”

Muhyiddin also denied the claim that ASEAN was not doing enough to deal with the crisis.

“We were worried about what was happening and took steps to make the decision,” he said. “The best thing is that the Myanmar representative is ready to accept our representative.”

This is the first time Min Aung Hlaing has left Burma since the coup, after which Aung San Suu Kyi and many other political leaders were arrested.

Critics said the ASEAN decision to meet the coup leader was unacceptable, justifying the subsequent capsizing and deadly crackdown. Southeast Asian diplomats agreed to meet Min Aung Hlaing on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly, but treated him as head of state of Burma and addressed him at the summit. He told the Associated Press that he didn’t.

Differences in relations between many ASEAN member states and China or the United States have hampered Block’s ability to respond quickly to crises, along with the basic policy of not interfering with each other’s problems and making consensus decisions.

However, under Western pressure, the group struggled to take a stronger position on the issue, but continued its non-confrontational approach.

London-based rights watchdog Amnesty International urged Indonesia and other ASEAN countries to investigate Min Aung Hlaing on “a credible claim of crimes against humanity in Myanmar” prior to the summit. .. Indonesia, as a party to the UN Convention against torture, said it has a legal obligation to prosecute or hand over suspected perpetrators on its territory.

Indonesian police have disbanded dozens of protesters who oppose the visit of coups and military junta leaders.

Protest in Indonesia
Activists will be exhibiting posters and tainted portraits of Burmese Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing at a rally against the military coup d’etat in Jakarta, Indonesia on April 24, 2021. (Tatan Syuflana / AP Photo)

Thai and Filipino leaders skipped the summit to address the outbreak of the coronavirus in their hometown. Laos also canceled at the last minute. The face-to-face summit is the first summit in over a year by ASEAN leaders.

With the exception of Burma, the regional block consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

By Niniek Karmini

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