As the EU pays more attention to sanctions, ASEAN’s diplomacy in Myanmar strengthens | ASEAN News


Diplomats from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will hold talks with General Min Aung Hlaing, as Myanmar has entered the fifth month of severe unrest since the military seized power on February 1, and the prospects for new EU sanctions are increasing. Big.

According to a local monitoring organization, Myanmar has been in chaos since the coup, its economy has been paralyzed, and more than 800 people have been killed in the brutal suppression of dissidents.

A senior Myanmar official who asked not to be named told AFP that Brunei’s second foreign minister, Erywan Pehin Yusof, arrived in the capital Naypyidaw on Thursday night.

The official added that the special envoy will meet with Min Anglai on Friday morning, and the military’s information team told reporters that they will release more information about the meeting soon.

ASEAN, which has 10 member states including Myanmar, has led diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis, but the group operates on the basis of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and acts in accordance with consensus. Observers question the effectiveness of its measures.

It is unclear whether these envoys will also meet with members of the National Unity Government (NUG), most of whom are members of the overthrown Aung San Suu Kyi National League for Democracy.

“ASEAN diplomacy is dead as soon as it arrives,” Burmese analyst David Matheson told AFP.

“The West may support this visit and send a clear signal to Nay Pyi Taw that their coup is succeeding.”

On Thursday, NUG announced a comprehensive revision of the country’s citizenship law, paving the way for the recognition of the majority of Muslim Rohingya as citizens, and stated that it will work to “build a prosperous federal democratic alliance where all ethnic groups belonging to the alliance can coexist peacefully.” .

In 2017, after brutal military suppression, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled the country. Under investigation for possible genocide. Aung San Suu Kyi and her elected government had previously defended the actions, even travelling to the Hague to give evidence.

On Thursday, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (International Committee of the Red Cross) Peter Maurer met with Min Aung Hlaing and became the most senior representative of the international organization to Nay Pyi Taw.

According to a statement from the International Committee of the Red Cross, Maurer said: “The people of Myanmar need urgent assistance and protection.”

The statement said that he discussed the “use of force in security operations” and provided reasons for better humanitarian access to conflict areas and the resumption of Red Cross prison visits.

However, the Nikkei News Agency quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that Min Anglai was “noncommittal” but did not reject Maurer’s request.

EU sanctions

At the same time, the EU is planning a new round of sanctions on the ruling generals and their economic interests in the coming days.

The EU’s head of foreign affairs, Jose Puborel, told Reuters during a visit to Jakarta on Thursday: “The third-row sanctions that are under preparation will be approved in the next few days.”

Borrell also told reporters that “the effort to find a political solution to the situation in Myanmar belongs to ASEAN.”

The international community supports ASEAN’s mediation role, but some Western powers have also increased sanctions to punish military leaders and their economic interests.

However, neither sanctions nor diplomacy have had a significant impact on the military. The military believes that the coup d’etat that ends 10 years of tentative democratic reforms will bring about “a disciplined democracy.”

The killings also continued. The military did not talk to NUG, but referred to it as a “terrorist” organization.

After the former Election Commission rejected its fraud accusations in the November elections, the military took power and the National League for Democracy won by a landslide. The generals arrested Aung San Suu Kyi and senior members of the civilian administration a few hours before declaring the seizure of power.

Recognize the Rohingya

The NUG opposes the military’s efforts, calls for strengthening unity with the country’s ethnic minorities, and urges the Rohingya to help them overthrow the coup leader, while promising them citizenship and repatriation in the future democratic Myanmar.

The organization said in a statement: “We invite the Rohingya to join us and others in this spring revolution against military dictatorship.”

Given that Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy government previously avoided even using the term “Rohingya” and instead referred to minorities as “Rakhine Muslims”, the new policy proposal is for Aung San Suu Kyi’s allies It is a complete change.

NUG also promised to end the 1982 Citizenship Law that discriminated against Rohingya, and promised that all persons born in Myanmar or citizens of Myanmar would obtain citizenship.

The organization also stated that it is committed to repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who are struggling in Bangladeshi camps “once the repatriation can be completed voluntarily, safely and with dignity.”

After a bloody military operation in 2017, more than 740,000 Rohingya fled the border into Bangladesh. The United Nations condemned the operation as ethnic cleansing.

The military claimed that after a series of deadly attacks on police posts, its actions were justified to eradicate Rohingya fighters and denied all allegations of misconduct.

Most of the more than 600,000 Rohingya remain in western Rakhine State without citizenship and are restricted to camps or villages. Many people do not have access to medical services.


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