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ASEAN's Action In The Myanmar Crisis

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After the ASEAN envoy's visit to Myanmar, the resolution of the crisis in Myanmar has not yet shown a bright spot. Secretary General of ASEAN, Lim Joch Hoi and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brunei Erywan Yusuf, Friday, June 4, 2021, visited Myanmar in order to realize the Consensus of Asean Leaders at the meeting in Jakarta. The mission, which specifically met junta leader Henderal Min Aung Hlaing, was criticized by a rival government calling itself the National Unity Government, NUG. The Myanmar military junta's official television reported that the meeting had discussed humanitarian assistance. In addition, the ASEAN envoy also discussed the election plan with General Min Aung Hlaing who promised to hold it when the situation was conducive.

 

The NUG rival government responded to the meeting and its outcome with skepticism. They were disappointed because, as at the high-level meeting in Jakarta, the shadow government was not invited. During the visit of two ASEAN envoys to Myanmar last Friday, they also did not get a chance to meet.

 

The NUG's doubts about the results of the ASEAN meeting are quite reasonable. After the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta in April, the military junta continued to use violence against protesters. At least 800 protesters and civilians have been killed as a result of the military's actions in handling the protests since the military coup four months ago. The junta leaders seem to feel that the consensus, which is the outcome of the Jakarta high-level meeting, is not a binding decision that must be implemented. After returning from Jakarta on April 24, Myanmar's military authorities even arrested 3000 anti-government people and killed at least 200 others.

 

On the other hand, ASEAN member countries are also ambiguous in their attitude towards Myanmar's military authorities. Reportedly, Singapore and Thailand have started to cooperate with the military government by making investments. ASEAN's stance is not as firm as the European Union and the United States, which strongly condemn the junta's actions and carry out an embargo on the economic access of Myanmar military officials.

 

The exclusion of the NUG element by ASEAN in an effort to find a solution in Myanmar, in addition to causing apathy towards ASEAN, has also strengthened resistance to the junta. It is feared that this situation could be used as an excuse for the military authorities to take tough action against protesters and postpone the election because the situation is not considered conducive.

 

For ASEAN, the principle of non-intervention, as well as the ambiguous attitude of some of its members due to the interests of investment and economic cooperation, is the cause of the absence of a firm attitude and more concrete action. In this case, ASEAN really needs to get back together to state its commitment to seriously address the crisis in one of its member countries. This is none other than to prevent a civil war that could tear the country apart and make its people suffer more.

 

 

 

ASEAN's Action In The Myanmar Crisis

After the ASEAN envoy's visit to Myanmar, the resolution of the crisis in Myanmar has not yet shown a bright spot. Secretary General of ASEAN, Lim Joch Hoi and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brunei Erywan Yusuf, Friday, June 4, 2021, visited Myanmar in order to realize the Consensus of Asean Leaders at the meeting in Jakarta. The mission, which specifically met junta leader Henderal Min Aung Hlaing, was criticized by a rival government calling itself the National Unity Government, NUG. The Myanmar military junta's official television reported that the meeting had discussed humanitarian assistance. In addition, the ASEAN envoy also discussed the election plan with General Min Aung Hlaing who promised to hold it when the situation was conducive.

The NUG rival government responded to the meeting and its outcome with skepticism. They were disappointed because, as at the high-level meeting in Jakarta, the shadow government was not invited. During the visit of two ASEAN envoys to Myanmar last Friday, they also did not get a chance to meet.

The NUG's doubts about the results of the ASEAN meeting are quite reasonable. After the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta in April, the military junta continued to use violence against protesters. At least 800 protesters and civilians have been killed as a result of the military's actions in handling the protests since the military coup four months ago. The junta leaders seem to feel that the consensus, which is the outcome of the Jakarta high-level meeting, is not a binding decision that must be implemented. After returning from Jakarta on April 24, Myanmar's military authorities even arrested 3000 anti-government people and killed at least 200 others.

On the other hand, ASEAN member countries are also ambiguous in their attitude towards Myanmar's military authorities. Reportedly, Singapore and Thailand have started to cooperate with the military government by making investments. ASEAN's stance is not as firm as the European Union and the United States, which strongly condemn the junta's actions and carry out an embargo on the economic access of Myanmar military officials.

The exclusion of the NUG element by ASEAN in an effort to find a solution in Myanmar, in addition to causing apathy towards ASEAN, has also strengthened resistance to the junta. It is feared that this situation could be used as an excuse for the military authorities to take tough action against protesters and postpone the election because the situation is not considered conducive.

For ASEAN, the principle of non-intervention, as well as the ambiguous attitude of some of its members due to the interests of investment and economic cooperation, is the cause of the absence of a firm attitude and more concrete action. In this case, ASEAN really needs to get back together to state its commitment to seriously address the crisis in one of its member countries. This is none other than to prevent a civil war that could tear the country apart and make its people suffer more.

 

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