Myanmar shadow government wants Asean crisis talks invite

Myanmar shadow government wants Asean crisis talks invite

Anti-government protesters hold placards to show their support and welcome the new National Unity Government found by ousted NLD legislators in Yangon, Myanmar, on Saturday. (Reuters photo)
Anti-government protesters hold placards to show their support and welcome the new National Unity Government found by ousted NLD legislators in Yangon, Myanmar, on Saturday. (Reuters photo)

Myanmar's shadow government on Sunday urged Southeast Asian leaders to give it a seat at the table during crisis talks next week, and not to recognise the military regime that seized power in a February coup.

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing is expected to join a special Asean summit on Myanmar on Saturday in Jakarta -- his first official overseas trip since the putsch that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The army has moved to quell mass protests against its rule, killing at least 730 people according to a local monitoring group.

Min Aung Hlaing's invitation to the meeting of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations has drawn scorn from activists who have urged foreign leaders not to formally recognise the junta.

Moe Zaw Oo, deputy minister of foreign affairs for the parallel "national unity government" -- formed Friday by ousted lawmakers mostly from Suu Kyi's party, as well as ethnic-minority politicians -- said Asean had not reached out to them.

"If Asean wants to help solve the Myanmar situation, they are not going to achieve anything without consulting and negotiating with the NUG, which is supported by the people and has full legitimacy," he told Voice of America's Burmese service.

"It's important that this military council is not recognised. This needs to be handled carefully."

Unrest continued across the country on Sunday, with protesters rallying in Mandalay, Meiktila, Magway and Myingyan, showing support for the national unity government.

At Palaw in the country's south, demonstrators brandished banners that read: "Military dictators should not be allowed to rule. The dictatorship will be uprooted. Support the national unity government."

Young demonstrators also staged motorbike rallies while carrying flags in Hpakant and Sagaing.

The previous night, there were violent clashes in the central gem-producing city of Mogok when security forces cracked down on protesters.

According to an AFP-verified video filmed by a resident, soldiers crouched on a street as their commanding officer shouted that he wanted "deaths".

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) verified two deaths at Mogok.

Much of Myanmar remains under a curfew imposed shortly after the coup, running from 8pm to 4am every night.

Late Saturday, a young man was shot and killed in Kyaukme town in northern Shan state while riding his motorbike during the curfew.

"He was shot by the authorities when he and other his friends drove motorbikes around 9pm. He was shot in the head," a rescue worker told AFP, adding that his funeral would take place Sunday.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (15)

Youngsters to get 1st shots on Monday

The Ministry of Public Health is ready to provide the first round of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine to children aged five to 11 on Monday at the Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health.

09:16

BoT seen among last to hike as Fed signals liftoff

Thailand's central bank is expected to be the last in Southeast Asia to lift rates, leading to one of the steepest yield curves in the region as other nations brace for the first Federal Reserve hike since 2018.

09:04

Judges uphold self-defence ruling in killing of activist

The Appeal Court on Wednesday upheld a Civil Court ruling dismissing a lawsuit filed against the army for compensation over the death of Lahu human rights activist Chaiyaphum Pasae, who was shot dead at a checkpoint in Chiang Mai province in 2017.

08:55