Indonesia Makes Efforts to Resolve Conflict in Myanmar

By: Sajadi, Journalist of MINA News Agency

In this week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has communicated with a number of Foreign Ministers to discuss the issue of Myanmar.

Retno stated that Indonesia would continue to strive and contribute constructively in resolving political conflicts in Myanmar following the coup carried out by the country’s military on February 1, 2021.

On Tuesday Retno said that dhe had communicated through direct visits or by telephone with the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN, the United States, China, India, Australia, Japan, Britain, and the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on this issue.

“Many countries have expressed their concerns, including Indonesia,” said Retno in her press statement.

However, Retno continued, the question is what Indonesia and ASEAN can do, especially to help Myanmar get out of this complicated situation.

“The principles we understand to help Myanmar are respecting the principle of non-interference, prioritizing constructive engagement, safety and welfare of the people of Myanmar, and assisting a democratic transition involving all stakeholders or an inclusive democratic transition,” he said.

Apart from communicating by telephone, the Indonesian Foreign Minister also visited Brunei Darussalam and Singapore this week to discuss resolving political conflicts in Myanmar.

“When the Sultan of Brunei received her courtesy visit, I also emphasized the importance of ASEAN Foreign Ministers to immediately meet as a family,” said Retno, Wednesday (17/2).

Brunei is the chair of ASEAN this year.

Meanwhile, Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also agreed that ASEAN could play an important role in facilitating constructive dialogue and restoring normalcy and stability in Myanmar.

“The two Foreign Ministers expressed their strong support for the proposed Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Myanmar to be held as soon as possible, to facilitate a constructive exchange of views and identify possible ways forward,” said the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on Thursday.

Singapore, which is also a major investor in Myanmar, is concerned about violent clashes at peaceful protests, arrests of civil servants, internet blackouts, and the deployment of troops and armored vehicles on city streets.

The Myanmar military launched a coup against a democratically elected civilian government and arrested state adviser Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, a politician from the election-winning party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), as well as a number of pro-democracy and human rights activists in Myanmar. The military regime returned to power.

Shortly after the coup, the military imposed a year-long state of emergency that put Myanmar’s executive, legislative and judiciary powers under the control of the supreme leader, Military Commander General Min Aung Hlaing.

Two days after the coup, the Myanmar police officially arrested Suu Kyi on charges of importing illegal communication devices, while President Myint was arrested for violating the Law on Disaster Management.

These actions prompted Myanmar citizens to take to the streets and stage peaceful demonstrations.

Thousands of citizens, ranging from labor groups, civil servants, health workers, students and young activists staged a peaceful demonstration against the military coup and demanded local authorities return power to the democratically elected government.

The demonstration continues and has reached its 14th day this Saturday.

From abroad, the Myanmar military junta has also continued to reap criticism, especially from the international community, for the coup that injured democrats and its harsh response to demonstrations, and even demonstrators died. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)