South Asia and Beyond

Jokowi Seeks Urgent ASEAN Meet On Myanmar Violence

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has urged an immediate end to the violence in Myanmar and called for a high-level meeting of ASEAN leaders to discuss the crisis. “There should be no more victims. The safety and welfare of the people must be the top priority,” he said.

In one of the strongest reactions yet by an ASEAN leader to the Myanmarese military’s crackdown on anti-coup protesters, Jokowi, as Joko Widodo is popularly called, said he would speak to Brunei’s Sultan, who’s the current ASEAN chair, and seek an early meeting of the bloc’s leaders.

At the behest of Indonesia, the foreign ministers of ASEAN met virtually earlier this month to discuss Myanmar. The meeting, also attended by the Myanmarese military’s representative, didn’t achieve much. So far the bloc, which acts by consensus and has a policy of non-interference in the affairs of its 10 members, hasn’t condemned the coup in Myanmar. Jokowi, it seems, has other plans.