ASEAN leaders discuss the Myanmar crisis
The gathering in Jakarta, home to the secretariat of the Southeast Asian body. Leaders of Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Brunei, and the foreign ministers of Laos, Thailand and the Philippines present. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing chooses to wear civilian clothes. Yesterday and today demonstrations in Myanmar, apparently without violence. The demands of the national unity government.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - ASEAN leaders have begun an emergency meeting to search for any solutions that will lead to a reduction in violence in Myanmar, the victim of a military coup for over two months (photo 1).
The meeting takes place at the headquarters of the ASEAN secretariat, in the Indonesian capital, and the head of the military junta of Myanmar, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing arrived in the morning, dressed not in military uniform, but in a dark western suit.
In front of the ASEAN headquarters, various groups of people, many of them Muslims, demonstrated against the coup d'état and in favor of democracy in Myanmar (photo 2).
Demonstrations against the junta and in favor of the government of national unity (NUG) are also scheduled for today in Myanmar, a kind of civilian government in exile, which would like to be recognized by the international community in place of the military one that emerged from the coup.
The Jakarta meeting was strongly supported by Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia, as well as Singapore. The ASEAN countries fear that the violence of the junta will spread instability and avalanches of refugees beyond the borders of Myanmar.
According to behind-the-scenes rumors, ASEAN leaders want to wrest a commitment from Gen Min Aung Hlaing's to stop the violence against civilians that have continued to demonstrate in the country's streets since the first day of the coup (1 February 2021).
According to the Association for Aid to Political Prisoners, the junta has killed 745 people and made 3,371 arrests to date.
An interesting fact: yesterday there were demonstrations in Yangon and Mandalay, but the security forces did not intervene, perhaps for fear of a stronger condemnation by the Asean countries today (photo 3).
The leaders of Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Brunei were present at the Jakarta meeting, along with foreign ministers from Laos, Thailand and the Philippines. Journalists are not allowed.
Until recently, many international organizations hoped that representatives of the NUG would also be invited to the meeting.
Dr. Sasa, special envoy to the international community for the NUG, however, made known their requests: ASEAN must ensure that the military no longer kill civilians; stop the bombing of ethnic minority villages; release political prisoners and transfer power to the NUG.