ASEAN Envoys Barred from Meeting Suu Kyi

Yangon, MINA – Myanmar military junta claims that they did not prevent the special envoy of ASEAN, Erywan Yusof, from meeting Aung San Suu Kyi. However, they still will not allow Erywan to meet Suu Kyi because currently the chairman of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party is facing criminal charges.

The statement was made by the Myanmar Government Spokesperson, Zaw Min Tun, on Wednesday, reported.

He also criticized the United Nations for delaying accepting the nomination of Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations. According to him, the delay shows the UN has political motives.

According to Zaw Min Tun, the United Nations, other countries, and international institutions “should avoid applying double standards when they deal with international affairs.”

International pressure is mounting on Myanmar for them to immediately implement the five-point agreement. The agreement was agreed by the junta leader, General Min Aung Hlaing, with ASEAN in April.

The five points focus on encouraging dialogue among all parties in Myanmar, humanitarian access, and an end to the junta’s acts of violence.

Last week, Erywan called the Myanmar junta’s stance against implementing the five-point agreement a setback. A number of ASEAN members, he said, even considered not inviting the general to attend the ASEAN Summit which will be held from 26-28 October.

The United Nations, the United States, and a number of other countries support ASEAN to seek a diplomatic solution to resolve Myanmar’s political turmoil. The pressure then grew stronger, even calling on ASEAN to take more decisive steps.

ASEAN is known for the principle of “non-interference”, namely the attitude of not interfering in the internal affairs of its members. If the ASEAN Summit does not invite the Myanmar junta, then this will be a big step for ASEAN.

Meanwhile, ASEAN member foreign ministers are scheduled to meet on Friday. Brunei Darussalam will host a virtual ministerial meeting. This meeting was held to prepare for the ASEAN Summit.

Myanmar has experienced political turmoil since Min Aung Hlaing toppled the newly elected government on February 1. The military arrested and detained Suu Kyi and the then president of Myanmar, Win Myint.

The coup ended the country’s quest for democracy and sparked protests and mass movements. The military argued that the general election held in November 2020 was marred by fraud. While the election results show, victory is in the hands of the NLD.

Masses in Myanmar’s major cities staged demonstrations against the coup. The military crushed the action and did not hesitate to use violence.

Thousands of people were detained or charged and convicted. The official website of the advocacy agency Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) reports that on October 14, 1,171 people died due to the junta’s crackdown. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)