Concerns Raised Over ASEAN’s Myanmar Plan

ASEAN Countries

Myanmar’s shadow government has voiced its concern over how ideas proposed at the ASEAN leaders’ meeting to resolve the crisis are being implemented.

Dinna Prapto Raharja, Indonesia’s National Human Rights commissioner and international relations expert, spoke on Merit TV about the follow-up to the five-point plan reached at the recent ASEAN summit in Jakarta.

The plan was released after the meeting on 24th April and it focused on ending the violence, developing constructive talks between all parties, sending aid, appointing envoys to facilitate better relations, and allowing those envoys to travel wherever they needed to.

“I am really afraid that each day the consensus is losing momentum. I have in particular learned that there was no timeline to execute each point, which is surprising,” said Dr Raharja.

She said it was up to Brunei, as the ASEAN chair and the secretariate, “to take swift action to follow up on the consensus”.

As a National Unity Government had been established in Myanmar, which claimed legitimacy and opposed the Tatmadaw and its 1st February coup, she suggested it must be given a role in resolving the crisis and that other ASEAN member states should keep up the pressure to execute their plan.

“It also opens up the new opportunity for us to hear what happened inside Myanmar,” she said.

Sa Sa, an international envoy appointed by the shadow government in exile, suggested that ASEAN should be telling the military government to stop the atrocities.

He went further, declaring that India and China should be leading the international pressure since India had plenty of leverage against Myanmar politics and because the junta’s actions would harm China too.

He said that the newly established National Unity Government represented the Myanmar people and should be considered legitimate.

“This is the first time in the history of Myanmar that we have a National Unity Government by the people of Myanmar and for the people of Myanmar,” he said.

“So we should be the only legitimate body who can represent the people and country of Myanmar.”

“We have been engaging and talking with several governments around the world. All the governments and organisations we have talked with have made it clear that they do not accept the military junta as the legitimate Myanmar government and they rejected them because of their atrocities and violence.”

Kyaw Win, executive director of the Burma Human Rights Network, said the ASEAN community needed to switch its focus to saving people’s lives, not the military government, amid the high death toll.

“This is not a dispute to do with power-sharing or power struggles, this is a crime against humanity,” he said.

He suggested that it was time for ASEAN and the international community to “join hand in hand together to fight” the military violence.

Besides, he said that if the international community did not help, there would be further consequences, with an increase in drug and human trafficking across the border.

“Also, there will be a problem of refugees, just like there was in Syria,” he added.

To help them, he suggested that the international community, especially ASEAN, allow those seeking refugee status to cross the border as well as allowing humanitarian aid to be sent to them.

“We need to pressure the military to stop using force and stop them banking money from ASEAN to stockpile weapons,” he added.

He also suggested further that the junta should not be allowed to attend the next ASEAN leaders meeting as they are not a legitimate government.