Myanmar Junta Chief Blasts Asean After His Exclusion From Summit
(Bloomberg) -- Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing blasted other Southeast Asian countries for demanding that his military end worsening violence at home, after he was excluded from a big ticket regional summit later this month over civil strife.
Allies of ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi were driving the repeated calls, the coup leader said on state-broadcaster MRTV on Monday. He added that the regime had agreed to end violence in the conflict-torn country months ago but had been prevented from doing so by “more acts of violence driven by the incitement of terrorist groups.”
“We haven’t seen anyone caring about or trying to stop such destructive acts,” he said. “They keep making demands to us and we ourselves have to deal with such acts. I’d like to say that Asean needs to work on this.”
Top regional diplomats earlier this month agreed to exclude Min Aung Hlaing from the meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders on Oct. 26-28 in Brunei -- a rare and decisive move to hold the regime accountable for the worsening domestic situation since it seized the government in a coup back in February.
The military government had made insufficient progress on an agreement struck with Asean in April that included stopping violence, the bloc said Saturday.
The National Unity Government, a shadow government set up by Suu Kyi’s allies challenging the legitimacy of the regime, welcomed Asean’s decision to instead invite a non-political representative.
“Asean must ensure the Myanmar representative could objectively represent the interest of Myanmar and its people,” it said in a statement. “We stand ready to provide recommendations for non-political representative for Asean’s evaluation and consideration.”
Suu Kyi remains in prison and has gone on trial for a string of charges including breaking Covid-19 restrictions during last year’s elections, as well as incitement and corruption. Her supporters said these allegations are groundless and serve as a justification for the military to launch a coup.
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