Asean condemns lack of Myanmar peace progress

PHNOM PENH: Southeast Asian ministers Friday condemned the dearth of progress on a disaster decision plan for coup-hit Myanmar, demanding the junta take motion earlier than a regional summit later this 12 months.
Myanmar has been in chaos since a putsch in February final 12 months, and the loss of life toll from the army’s brutal crackdown on dissent has handed 2,100, in accordance with a neighborhood monitoring group.
Anger is rising amongst some Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members on the generals’ stonewalling, significantly after the execution final month of 4 prisoners — together with two distinguished pro-democracy figures.
The ten-member bloc — spearheading up to now fruitless efforts to resolve the turmoil — issued a joint assertion after international minister talks in Phnom Penh.
The ministers mentioned they have been “deeply upset by the restricted progress in and lack of dedication of the Naypyidaw authorities to the well timed and full implementation of the 5 level consensus”.
And in a veiled warning to Myanmar’s junta, the assertion — referencing Article 20 of the ASEAN constitution — famous the leaders’ assembly later this 12 months might nonetheless take motion over “non-compliance”.
ASEAN selections are often taken by consensus, however Article 20 permits a summit to override this precept.
Myanmar’s high diplomat, Wunna Maung Lwin, was not invited to Phnom Penh and was additionally disregarded of a international ministers’ retreat in February, whereas junta chief Min Aung Hlaing was snubbed at a leaders’ summit final 12 months.
The international ministers additionally condemned final month’s executions of Phyo Zeya Thaw, a rapper-turned-lawmaker from ousted civilian chief Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nationwide League for Democracy celebration, and veteran political activist Kyaw Min Yu, higher often known as “Jimmy”.
Earlier within the week, Malaysia — which has led requires harder motion — indicated that Myanmar might face suspension from the bloc, ought to members not see concrete progress forward of the leaders’ summit.
Asean has lengthy been derided by critics as a toothless speaking store, however along with Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore have pushed for a firmer line on Myanmar.
Friday’s assertion mentioned Asean’s particular envoy to Myanmar have to be allowed to fulfill with “all related stakeholders” — alluding to the army junta’s choice to dam entry to the detained Suu Kyi.
The Nobel laureate and democracy icon faces a raft of fees that would see her jailed for greater than 150 years.
Taiwan tensions
The newest communique didn’t particularly point out this week’s spat between China and the US following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s go to to Taiwan.
A livid Beijing kicked off its biggest-ever army workouts in waters surrounding the self-ruled island in response to the go to on Thursday.
However the Asean international ministers warned towards “provocative motion”.
The scenario “might result in miscalculation, severe confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable penalties amongst main powers”, they mentioned in a joint assertion printed Thursday.
On Friday, the ministers additionally held regional safety talks with their counterparts from the US, China, Russia, Japan and Australia on the East Asia Summit.

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