Foreign ministers express disappointment with the failure by the military administration to implement the crisis plan agreed in April 2021.
Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed to exclude Burma’s ruling generals from the group’s meetings until they make progress on a 15-month plan to resolve the crisis caused by the military coup.
Speaking at a press conference at the end of a series of ASEAN regional meetings in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, who is also a special envoy in Myanmar, said the generals “must act in a way that shows that progress is being made. we will be able to make a decision to show progress ”.
On Friday, foreign ministers condemned the lack of progress in the so-called The Five Point Consensus, agreed with the army chief and coup leader General Min Aung Hlaing in April 2021, and demanded the self-proclaimed State Administration Council (SAC). ) take steps to implement the plan ahead of the November regional summit.
Ministers said they were “deeply disappointed with the limited progress and the lack of commitment by the Naypyidaw authorities to the timely and full implementation of the Five Point Consensus.”
In a veiled warning to the Myanmar military authorities in a statement – referring to Art. 20 ASEAN Charter – Lead meeting later this year has been identified as likely to continue to take action on “non-compliance”.
Myanmar plunged into crisis when the military arrested elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other high-ranking officials in February 2021 and seized power for itself.
The coup sparked a mass movement of civil disobedience, nationwide protests, and the formation of armed groups against coups, to which the military responded with brute force.
Some 2,158 people have been killed by the armed forces since the coup, and the relentlessness of the generals sparked anger, especially after the execution of four political prisoners last month.
The military rejects the statement
In a statement by the foreign ministry on the front page of the state-owned Global New Light of Myanmar on Saturday, the military said it had rejected ASEAN’s communiqué and would continue to follow its own “five-point plan” that was printed alongside the front-page statement.
“Myanmar believes that ASEAN can maintain its unity and central position in the long term only if all ASEAN member states adhere to the provisions and fundamental principles of the ASEAN Charter, in particular equality, inclusiveness, sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN States members” – He said.
Military-appointed Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin was not invited to Phnom Penh, and was also left out of a foreign ministers retreat in February, while Min Aung Hlaing was disregarded at last year’s leaders’ summit.
ASEAN foreign ministers also condemned the executions of Phyo Zey Thaw, the rapper-turned politician, member of the National League for Democracy Aung San Suu Kyi and political veteran Kyawa Min Yu, commonly known as Ko Jimmy. .
Malaysia is making appeals for a tougher approach to Myanmar’s military administration, and is calling on the group to work with the Government of National Unity (NUG) established by elected politicians who have been removed from power by generals.
The Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore also pressed for a harder line.
The Five-Point Consensus called for an immediate end to violence, for the appointment of a special envoy and for discussions with all stakeholders. An ASEAN statement Friday stressed that the Envoy should be allowed to meet “all interested parties”.
The SAC did not allow ASEAN’s First Envoy, Brunei’s Foreign Minister, to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, and Prak Sokhonn did not allow it.
The Nobel Prize winner was imprisoned after a trial in a closed court and faces a series of charges that could put her behind bars for years.
Burma joined ASEAN in 1997 under the previous military regime.
The SAC is trying to frame those who oppose his seizure of power as “terrorists.”
The United Nations says hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of military attacks, while human rights experts have accused the military of war crimes for attacks on civilians.