ASEAN countries urge Myanmar's military chief to end violence

World Sunday 25/April/2021 17:07 PM
ASEAN countries urge Myanmar's military chief to end violence

Naypyitaw: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders have urged the head of Myanmar's military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who took power in a coup on February 1, to end the violent crackdown in the country.

According to Nikkei Asia, during the summit, the leaders and foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations had reached a consensus on five points. This includes: there shall be an "immediate cessation of violence" and restraint by all parties; all parties shall commence "constructive dialogue" toward "a peaceful solution in the interests of the people"; a special envoy of the ASEAN chair shall mediate the dialogue; ASEAN shall provide humanitarian assistance, and the special envoy and delegation shall visit Myanmar to meet with all parties.

This meeting was held in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, the first in-person gathering of the bloc's leaders since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the absences of Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Laotian Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh were conspicuous. Thai and Philippine officials cited surging COVID-19 cases in their countries, while Laos has not provided an explanation, reported Nikkei Asia.

The host, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, said after the meeting that "inclusive dialogue must start," while echoing the call to release political prisoners. "We need to appoint a special ASEAN envoy to push for dialogues involving all parties in Myanmar."

As of April 23, 745 people have been confirmed to be killed since the military takeover in Myanmar, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

"As of April 23, 745 people are now confirmed killed by this junta coup," said AAPP, adding that a total of 3,371 people are currently under detention.

On February 1, the Myanmar military overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency. The coup triggered mass protests and was met by deadly violence.