This weekend’s special summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will take place without the participation of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the leader confirmed on Thursday Three.
The leaders of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Brunei have confirmed Their attendance at the April 24 meeting in Jakarta, but followed the Bangkok PostInstead, Prayut will be represented by Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. Not sure Surrounded was attended by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, amid rumors of poor health.
The summit was convened to discuss the political crisis in Myanmar, after weeks of efforts by several ASEAN member states, especially Indonesia, to come up with a regional solution to the crisis. political crisis.
The Thai government did not give a reason for Prayut’s absence at the summit, but it is not difficult to read that it is a sign that the former general, who himself led the coup against the government himself Thailand’s election in 2014, do not want to take a strong stance. against the actions of a military facility that the Royal Thai Army has close relationship.
Whatever happens, the summit will mark a major milestone for ASEAN. It reflects the perception that the deepening crisis in Myanmar threatens to impact the region not only in terms of the increasing influx of refugees and the expansion of Myanmar’s conflicting economy, but also in prestige and position of ASEAN in the eyes of international partners.
Like Sihasak Phuangketkeow, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand recorded on the Bangkok Post This week, the summit marks “the first time ASEAN will meet at the highest level to address mainly a worrying situation in an allied member country”.
Since the coup, security forces have killed at least 738 people, including children, while another 3,300 have been detained for anti-coup operations.
As the protests resume in Myanmar this week, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the United Nations Security Council that ASEAN’s role is “more important than ever” and urges “parties in the region to take advantage of their influence to prevent further decline and, ultimately, to find a peaceful way out of a disaster.” this “.
But a successful solution would require considerable diplomatic dexterity and unification among ASEAN member states, which has been lacking to date.
Ade Padmo Sarwono, Indonesia’s Permanent Representative to ASEAN, told Australians that the meeting will likely focus on humanitarian responses to the crisis and reduce violence to open up a negotiating path.
“All ASEAN members are concerned about the humanitarian situation in Myanmar,” said Sarwono. “We need to have a situation where all parties can get together. We need to prevent violence and provocation to make the situation conducive to dialogue ”.
Southeast Asian bloc opened fire on the presence of coup leader Lieutenant General Min Aung Hlaing at the summit, that is confirmed today, with anti-coup activists in Yangon protest ASEAN’s decision as a de facto recognition of the coup government. This came in the context of ASEAN calling for National Unified Government (NUG) representatives to come to Jakarta. was announced on April 16.
“ASEAN’s inclusion of Min Aung Hlaing gives the military’s State Administrative Council undue legitimacy over Myanmar’s democratically elected government,” the US-based group Human Rights Watch issued a statement this week calling on ASEAN member states instead of supporting NUG.
While there are ethical and practical reasons for ASEAN to speak to NUG to some degree, inviting Tatmadaw’s political opponents to their special summit could make it a major cause. the right to complete total alienation, to play any possibility – albeit far away at this point – that the Myanmar military would yield to negotiations.
These calls demonstrate the binding of ASEAN, in seeking to open up negotiations between the two sides, both sides are not much concerned about compromise. Understandably, very few of the pro-democracy factions show a willingness to give in to anything to the hated Tatmadaw government, while the violent actions of Min Aung Hlaing and his friends. Show the polar opposite of compromise.
As a result, ASEAN faces the inevitable challenge of paving the way towards negotiations to prevent further violence, which does not appear to affect the relative legitimacy of the two competing governments of the country. Myanmar. Do all of this while avoiding anything that “can be interpreted as accepting the situation in Myanmar as an accomplice,” said Sihasak Phuangketkeow of Thailand. described this week As the primary mission of the block, there will be even more challenges.