JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – A leading Indonesian expert on international law has urged Indonesia to refrain from commenting on the military coup in Myanmar.
The advice comes as the country’s military forces overthrew Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s government and detained her.
“I call on the [Indonesian] government not to make any unnecessary statements on the [situation] in Myanmar, as the [military junta] might perceive it as meddling,” University of Indonesia International Law Professor Hikmahanto Juwana said on Monday, February 1.
“It is best for Indonesia to adopt a wait and see stance in observing the situation in Myanmar.”
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Hikmahanto added that “the coup in Myanmar is entirely an internal matter. The ASEAN Charter’s Article 2, Paragraph 2 (e) specifically highlighted ‘non-interference in the internal affairs of ASEAN member states.’”
He acknowledged that since the coup is an unconstitutional takeover of power, questions will surface about the military’s legitimacy. “Recognition [of the military junta] does not have to be through a statement. Sometimes it is done through cooperation,” Himahanto added.
“So if ASEAN holds a summit and the junta represents Myanmar, then [the Association] recognized them as Myanmar’s new government.”
The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs “expresses its concern over the recent political situation in Myanmar,” and called on the conflicting parties to adhere “to the rule of law, good governance, the principles of democracy and constitutional government.”