ASEAN urged to consider Myanmar’s expulsion over coup abuses
Rights groups and activists are urging the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to deny legitimacy to Myanmar’s coup leader and even consider the country’s expulsion from the regional bloc over rights abuses by security forces, as leaders of the member states prepare to attend a summit in Jakarta.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who led the February 1 coup that deposed Myanmar’s democratically-elected government, is expected to participate in Saturday’s summit of the 10-member ASEAN alongside seven head of states.
Thailand’s prime minister and the president of the Philippines have said they would send their foreign ministers. ASEAN’s other members include Myanmar itself, Brunei, Cambodia, the host Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
The meeting is the first concerted international effort to ease the crisis in Myanmar where security forces have killed hundreds of pro-democracy protesters since the February 1 coup.
It is also a test for ASEAN, which traditionally does not interfere in the internal affairs of a member state and operates by consensus.
“Min Aung Hlaing should face a courtroom for his crimes – not be given the red carpet treatment.”
— Olof Blomqvist (@olofblomqvist) April 23, 2021
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged ASEAN leaders to help prevent an escalation of the crisis and “possible grave humanitarian implications beyond Myanmar’s borders,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Wednesday.
He said UN special envoy on Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener “will be in Jakarta to engage ASEAN leaders on the sidelines of Saturday’s meeting, focusing on a political solution”.
On Friday, Fortify Rights said that by inviting coup leader Min Aung Hlaing and ignoring Myanmar’s elected civilian leaders, ASEAN “lends legitimacy to an illegal and brutal military regime”.
If the coup leader “fails to demonstrate an immediate end to the military government’s attempted coup and attack on civilians, then ASEAN member states should consider ousting Myanmar from the regional block,” said Ismail Wolff, the regional director of the rights organisation…..read more
Source: Al Jazeera