Home Nonviolent defense Burmese leader says ASEAN is blind to opposition violence

Burmese leader says ASEAN is blind to opposition violence

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Updated 15 minutes ago

BANGKOK (AP) – Myanmar’s military-installed head of government said on Monday that other Southeast Asian countries should share the responsibility for failing to help quell the violence that has engulfed his country since. that the military took power in February.

Non-commissioned General Min Aung Hlaing, in a speech broadcast on state television, blamed organized groups opposing the military takeover for the ongoing deadly unrest. He suggested that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations had failed to recognize opposition groups’ responsibility for the violence and said his government was seeking to restore peace and stability.

Opposition to military rule initially took the form of non-violent protests, but turned into armed self-defense after security forces used lethal force to disperse the protests. A detailed account of the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners accuses security forces of the murder of nearly 1,200 civilians. The government is now facing a growing insurgency in many parts of the country.

Min Aung Hlaing on Friday commented on ASEAN’s decision to invite an apolitical Myanmar representative instead of a member of its ruling council to the bloc’s summit meeting later this month.

The virtually unprecedented rebuke from one of its 10 members came after ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar, Brunei’s Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof abruptly canceled a long-delayed visit when told her that he would not be able to meet the fallen leader Aung San Suu Kyi. and others as he requested.

Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party was due to start a second five-year term after winning last year’s general election, has been detained since the takeover and is on trial on several counts. , according to his supporters, are politically motivated.

ASEAN reached a “five-point consensus” in April, to which Myanmar subscribed, calling for an immediate end to the violence, a dialogue between all parties concerned, the mediation of a special envoy from the United Nations. ‘ASEAN, the provision of humanitarian assistance through ASEAN channels and a visit to Myanmar by the special envoy to meet with all parties concerned. ASEAN foreign ministers appointed Erywan as their special envoy in August.

Min Aung Hlaing said in his speech that while the agreement called for an end to the violence and the restoration of stability through the cooperation of all parties, the opposition groups had exacerbated the situation by committing ” terrorism, thefts and murders “.

“We still face this, until now, but no one has made any serious obstacles to their violence. We have been asked to solve it and we are the ones fixing the problem. I mean ASEAN needs to do something about it.

He specifically blamed the violence on the Committee representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, which is made up of elected members of parliament who were barred by the military from sitting, and the Government of National Unity, an underground but popular organization that claims to be the legitimate leadership. from the country.

He also blamed the armed groups of ethnic minorities seeking greater autonomy, which are loosely allied with the shadow government.

In recent months, as the security forces continued their violent crackdown, opposition activists have retaliated and committed assassinations and sabotage in their struggle.

Referring to the abortive visit of the ASEAN Special Envoy, Min Aung Hlaing said some issues in dispute were “non-negotiable”.