Asean leaders agree 5-point plan for Myanmar

Asean leaders agree 5-point plan for Myanmar

TAKING ACTION: Leaders attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on the Myanmar crisis in Jakarta.
TAKING ACTION: Leaders attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on the Myanmar crisis in Jakarta.

Asean leaders met Myanmar's junta chief Min Aung Hlaing in Jakarta yesterday and reached a five-point consensus on how to tackle the political crisis the country is facing.

In a statement announced by Asean's chair, the Sultan of Brunei, the leaders in their five-point consensus called for 1) the immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar; 2) constructive dialogue among all parties concerned to seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the people; 3) mediation to be facilitated by an envoy of Asean's chair, with the assistance of the secretary-general; 4) humanitarian assistance provided by Asean's AHA Centre and 5) a visit by the special envoy and delegation to Myanmar to meet all parties concerned.

The remarks comments followed a meeting in Jakarta of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), which was the senior Myanmar general's first foreign trip since security forces staged a coup that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in early February. Gen Min Aung Hlaing has become the focus of international outrage over the coup and a subsequent crackdown on dissent that has left more than 700 dead.

"The first requested commitment is for the Myanmar military to stop the use of violence and that all parties there at the same time must refrain so that tensions can be reduced," Mr Widodo said on Saturday.

Gen Min Aung Hlaing did not make a formal public statement. But Singapore's prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, who called for the release of Suu Kyi from house arrest, said the junta leader "heard us".

"He was not opposed to Asean playing a constructive role, or an Asean delegation visit, or humanitarian assistance, and that they would move forward and engage with Asean in a constructive way," Mr Lee told reporters, citing the general's comments.

Thailand's Foreign Ministry on Saturday retweeted that Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai also suggested the "D4D" as the way forward for Myanmar through de-escalating violence, delivering humanitarian assistance, release of detainees and dialogue at the Asean Summit. Mr Don represented Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the meeting.

Saturday's talks follow mass protests which have been met by a brutal crackdown that has left hundreds dead. Small protests outside the bloc's Jakarta headquarters were dispersed by security personnel. In Myanmar, protesters took to the streets again on Saturday, including in northern Kachin state, where demonstrators wore blue shirts to symbolise detainees. In Yangon, residents staged a mock funeral for the senior general by smashing saffron-coloured clay pots on the ground, symbolic of cutting ties with the dead.

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