South Asia and Beyond

Myanmar Crisis: Pressure Mounts On ASEAN

Indonesia has called upon the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to immediately name an envoy to Myanmar, more than a month after the bloc agreed to steps to end turmoil in the country triggered after a military coup.

“The appointment of a special envoy must be done immediately and communication with all parties must be maintained,” said Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

Erywan Yusof, the second minister for foreign affairs for Brunei, ASEAN’s chair this year, and the bloc’s secretary-general Lim Jock Hoi, also from Brunei, are scheduled to travel to Myanmar this week and meet leaders of the junta, among other stakeholders, as reported by new agency Reuters. But it’s unclear if they would meet the junta’s opponents.

“If ASEAN only meets with the military it risks, once again, playing into the junta’s public relations exercise and granting them legitimacy, when all they deserve is admonition,” said Charles Santiago, a Malaysian Member of Parliament (MP) and Chair of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR).