The Burmese military junta gave assurances this Tuesday that it will heed the recommendations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to resolve the crisis the country is going through, but only if “stability returns”.
The chairman of the board, General Min Aung Hlaing, has pointed out that stability is the country’s top priority, which means “maintaining order and law and restoring peace and tranquility”.
His words come after Saturday’s ASEAN summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, to address the situation in Burma. The leaders of the countries that make up the association have expressed concern about the deaths of hundreds of civilians by the army following the February 1 coup.
During the meeting, the parties proposed implementing a five-stage roadmap that “serves the interests of the country,” according to The Irrawaddy newspaper. For his part, the general has stated that he will review its implementation as long as the plan “complies with the principles of the ASEAN Charter”, as he has stated.
In a statement, the junta reported on the progress made in Burma and initiated military intervention in the country. He has also addressed protests against the Board of Directors and the future of the Board’s programs and activities.
The board continues to insist that the November 8 elections were fraudulent, which is why its intervention is theoretically aimed at restoring democracy in the Asian country. He also defended the measures taken during the protests in view of their “violence”.
However, the bloc has failed to get the military to slack off and release politicians and activists jailed since the coup. Since then, at least 4,484 civilians have been arrested by Burmese armed forces, according to reports by the Burma Political Prisoner Support Association (AAPP).
For his part, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has stated that the CEO is not against an ASEAN delegation visiting the country to “solve the crisis”.
On the last day, the independence rebels Karen took over a military post on the border with Thailand, a spokesman for the rebel group confirmed.
“Members of the army ran away. We don’t know if there were casualties, but we took over the base,” said Padoh Saw Taw Nee of the Karen National Union (KNU).
According to the above newspaper, several witnesses saw seven soldiers fleeing into the forest from the military post that was allegedly set on fire.
Following the coup, the army carried out a number of attacks on ethnic minority areas, including the Karen community. “Now there are more than 24,000 civilians in the jungle because the army attacked us,” the spokesman said.
Some of the rebel groups in Burma, who have been fighting for autonomy for decades, have supported protests against the military junta. Thousands of people have fled to Thailand in the middle of the crisis due to increasing violence.
On the same Tuesday, Mahn Win Jaing Than, chairman of the government of the national unity, which acts in parallel with the military junta, criticized the ASEAN leaders after the summit for addressing the crisis.
While thanking those present for the support of the Burmese people, he has accused the groups of being “abstract” on the matter. “ASEAN’s actions failed despite the army’s terror against its own people,” he said.
The deputy spokeswoman for the UN General Secretariat, Farhan Haq, again stressed that the organization would continue to support the measures of ASEAN and its “important role”, especially after the United Nations Special Representative for the country, Christine Schraner Burgener, with the UNE met the leader of the organization in the context of the summit.
“Implementing the five ASEAN points proposed to resolve the crisis is important. These include urging an end to violence for all parties and engaging in constructive dialogue to find a peaceful solution,” said Haq.
He has also called on the junta to release all detainees and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. “The General Secretariat and its Special Representative continue to support a joint response from Member States,” he stressed.