NewsASEAN envoys arrive in Myanmar for talks with junta...

ASEAN envoys arrive in Myanmar for talks with junta chief


Yangon, Myanmar: Envoys from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations arrived in Myanmar Thursday for talks with junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, as the coup-stricken nation enters its fifth month of crippling unrest.

Myanmar has been in chaos and its economy paralyzed since the February coup, with more than 800 people killed in a brutal military crackdown on dissent, according to a local monitoring group.

Erywan Pehin Yusof, Brunei’s second minister for foreign affairs, and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi arrived in the capital Naypyidaw late Thursday, a senior Myanmar official, who didn’t want to be named, told AFP.

The envoys will meet Min Aung Hlaing on Friday morning, the official added, and the junta’s information team told journalists that they would shortly release more information on the meetings.

ASEAN has led diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Myanmar, but the bloc is not known for its diplomatic clout and observers to have questioned how effective it can influence events in the country.

While the European Union and the United States have ramped up sanctions on Myanmar’s generals, the regional bloc has struggled to form a united front.

It was not immediately clear whether the envoys would also meet members of a shadow government formed by ousted lawmakers — mostly from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party — which has sought to bring anti-coup dissidents together.

“ASEAN diplomacy dead on arrival,” Myanmar analyst David Mathieson told AFP.

“The West will likely sound support for this visit, sending clear signals to Naypyidaw their coup is succeeding.”

The junta has classified members of the shadow government as “terrorists”, meaning anyone speaking to them — including journalists — can be subjected to charges under counter-terrorism laws.

UN envoy still waiting 

Min Aung Hlaing attended a meeting on the crisis with the leaders of the 10-country bloc in April — his first overseas trip since he seized power.

Following that meeting — which was closed to media — leaders issued a “five-point consensus” statement that called for the “immediate cessation of violence” and a visit to Myanmar by a regional special envoy.

But the general said in a later television interview that Myanmar was not ready to adopt the plan.

A special envoy has yet to be appointed and violence has continued across the country.

The UN special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, was present on the sidelines of the April summit but has yet to receive permission to travel to Myanmar.

She said last week she had been told by the junta that now was “not the right time” for her to go to Myanmar.

The military has justified its power grab by citing alleged electoral fraud in the November poll, which the NLD won in a landslide.

Ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has only been seen in public once since the coup.

She has been hit with a string of criminal charges including flouting coronavirus restrictions during last year’s election campaign and possessing unlicensed walkie-talkies.

She vowed last month that her party would “exist as long as the people exist.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

China’s Hou wins first weightlifting gold of Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, Japan: China's Hou Zhihui took the first weightlifting gold of Tokyo 2020 on Saturday as she dashed India's...

Tokyo Olympics rowing rescheduled over tropical storm

Tokyo, Japan: Tokyo Olympic organizers brought forward rowing events as a "protective measure" Saturday as a tropical storm heads...

Lebanon can’t handle next Covid wave: hospital chief

Beirut, Lebanon: Lebanon's deepening economic crisis has piled pressure on hospitals, leaving them ill-equipped to face any new wave...

India rescuers hunt for survivors as monsoon toll hits 76

Mumbai, India: Rescuers in India combed through mud and debris Saturday in a desperate search for survivors as the...

Empty streets as Hanoi goes into lockdown as virus cases soar

Hanoi, Vietnam: Vietnam locked down eight million people in Hanoi on Saturday, the latest attempt to curb a serious...

Mirabai Chanu fetches India Olympic silver in weightlifting

Kolkata, India: Mirabai Chanu won India's first Olympic medal, a silver medal in 49kg weightlifting with a total lift...

Must read

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you