Opponents of Myanmar coup say they have no faith in ASEAN while envoys visit | ASEAN News


Opponents of Myanmar’s military coup have said they have lost faith in regional diplomatic efforts to end the country’s crisis, while two ASEAN envoys met with military ruler Min Aung Hlaing in the capital Naypyidaw.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has led the main international diplomatic effort to find a way out of the crisis in Myanmar, a country in turmoil since the military overthrow of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1st.

“We have little confidence in ASEAN’s efforts. All our hopes are gone, “said Moe Zaw Oo, deputy minister of foreign affairs of the National Unity Government (NUG), whom the military has declared traitors and whose members have been described as” terrorists. “

“I don’t think they have a solid plan for their credibility,” he said Friday about ASEAN.

Moe Zaw Oo was speaking at a press conference that was interrupted in Myanmar by internet outages.

Two sources informed of the disruption, who refused to identify themselves for security reasons, told Reuters news agency that authorities had ordered the closure.

On Friday, military leader Min Aung Hlaing met with ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi and Erywan Yusof, ASEAN’s second foreign minister, Brunei, Myawaddy reported. TV, run by the army.

The report said the meeting discussed cooperation on humanitarian issues, the holding of elections once the country remained stable and the alleged irregularities in last year’s elections that led to military intervention.

Country in chaos

The military, which ruled Myanmar from 1962 to 2011, had promised to return democracy within two years.

The visit was part of a five-point consensus reached at a meeting of bloc leaders in Jakarta in late April, which was attended by Min Aung Hlaing and held by ASEAN as a breakthrough.

ASEAN has not yet announced the visit and it was not immediately clear whether the envoys planned to meet with opponents from the military or other stakeholders.

Myanmar has fallen into chaos since the coup, with strikes, boycotts and protests across the country paralyzing the economy and tens of thousands of people displaced by heavy fighting between military and rebels of ethnic minorities and newly formed militias. .

According to an activist group, at least 845 people have been killed by security forces and more than 4,500 imprisoned. The military has discussed these figures.

Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, is one of the detainees, charged in two separate courts with crimes ranging from violating the curbs of the coronavirus and illegally importing walkie-talkies to a violation of the Official Secrets Act, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

His lawyer expressed concern on Friday that he had no legal representative in the most serious cases, which also includes his Australian economic adviser, Sean Turnell, but who had included all of them as representatives of themselves.

“We are concerned that they have no legal representatives and that there is no transparency,” Khin Maung Zaw told Reuters.

The NUG, made up of pro-democracy groups and supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party, said on Friday it would end conflicts in Myanmar and draft a new federal constitution, but that it would first have to defeat military coup leaders.

Protesters are taking part in a demonstration against the military coup in Dawei on Thursday [Dawei Watch via AFP]

NUG Defense Minister Khin Ma Ma Myo said militias called “People’s Defense Forces” had been formed across the country, but that they should work together with existing armed groups.

“The NUG government will call for war at some point. When that time comes, we have to work together to defeat the board, ”he said.

“At the moment, it doesn’t matter who the leader is, it’s important to defeat the common enemy: the terrorist regime.”

Meanwhile, protests continued Saturday across the country, including in the city of Mandalay, where hundreds of people took to the streets to denounce military leadership and demand the restoration of democracy.

Similar protests were also reported on social media in Launglon township, Tanintharyi division, on Saturday, while Saitaung residents of Hpakant staged a candle strike on Friday evening.

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