ASEAN excludes Myanmar junta chief from summit in uncommon transfer

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Southeast Asian international locations will invite a non-political consultant from Myanmar to a regional summit this month, delivering an unprecedented snub to the navy chief who led a coup in opposition to an elected civilian authorities in February.

The choice taken by international ministers from the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at an emergency assembly on Friday evening, marks a uncommon daring step for the consensus-driven bloc, which has historically favored a coverage of engagement and non-interference.

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Singapore’s international ministry mentioned on Saturday the transfer to exclude junta chief Min Aung Hlaing was a “troublesome however obligatory choice to uphold ASEAN’s credibility.”

The assertion went on to quote the shortage of progress made on a roadmap to revive peace in Myanmar that the junta had agreed to with ASEAN in April.

Greater than 1,000 civilians have been killed by Myanmar safety forces and 1000’s arrested, in line with the United Nations, amid a crackdown on strikes and protests which has derailed the nation’s tentative democracy and prompted worldwide condemnation.

The junta says these estimates of the loss of life toll are exaggerated.

ASEAN’s present chair Brunei mentioned a non-political determine from Myanmar could be invited to the Oct. 26-28 summit, after no consensus was reached for a political consultant to attend.

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“As there had been inadequate progress… in addition to considerations over Myanmar’s dedication, particularly on establishing constructive dialog amongst all involved events, some ASEAN Member States advisable that ASEAN give area to Myanmar to revive its inside affairs and return to normalcy,” Brunei mentioned in an announcement.

It didn’t point out Min Aung Hlaing or title who could be invited in his stead.

Brunei mentioned some member states had acquired requests from Myanmar’s Nationwide Unity Authorities, shaped by opponents of the junta, to attend the summit.

‘JUSTIFIED DOWNGRADE’

ASEAN has confronted rising worldwide strain to take a harder stand in opposition to Myanmar, having been criticized up to now for its ineffectiveness in coping with leaders accused of rights abuses, subverting democracy and intimidating political opponents.

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A U.S. State Division official advised reporters on Friday that it was “completely acceptable and in reality utterly justified” for ASEAN to downgrade Myanmar’s participation on the coming summit.

Singapore in its assertion urged Myanmar to cooperate with ASEAN’s envoy, Brunei’s second international affairs minister Erywan Yusof.

Erywan has delayed a long-planned go to to the nation in latest weeks and has requested to satisfy all events in Myanmar, together with deposed chief Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained within the coup.

Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun mentioned this week Erywan could be welcome in Myanmar, however wouldn’t be allowed to satisfy Suu Kyi as a result of she is charged with crimes. (Reporting by Ain Bandial; Extra reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore and Simon Lewis in Washington; Writing by Rozanna Latiff; Enhancing by William Mallard & Simon Cameron-Moore )

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