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February 25, 2021, 03.07 AM

JAKARTA, – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has called off her planned state visit to Myanmar, as tensions from the military takeover in the country increased with protests in front of the Indonesian Embassy in the capital Yangon.

“The worsening political situation in Myanmar ruled the visit out,” said Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Teuku Faizasyah on Wednesday.

He confirmed that Retno previously intended to go to Myanmar’s political capital Naypyidaw to resolve the crisis.

Also read: Protests Sweep Myanmar to Support Suu Kyi

Faizashyah also denied a report by the Reuters news agency that Indonesia supported the Myanmar military junta’s plan to hold new elections. “The Indonesian government never had [new elections] as their plan of action. That is not our official position,” he maintained.

“The Foreign Minister is consulting [her counterparts] from other ASEAN countries about the crisis in Myanmar. This is in line with President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s talks during their summit in Jakarta earlier this month.”

However, Faizasyah's counterpart in Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tanee Sanrat said Retno held impromptu talks with Thailand's Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and the Myanmar military junta's Foreign Minister, Wunna Maung Lwin. Tanee gave no further details. 


Protests in front of the Indonesian Embassy in Myanmar

Faizasyah confirmed that the Reuters report sparked protests in front of the Indonesian embassy in Myanmar after its publication on Monday, February 22.

“The protests in front [of the Indonesian Embassy] have been peaceful and nonviolent, as reported by the Antara state news agency,” he said.

“However, the demonstrations have destabilized Myanmar, as they occurred on a daily basis. We are monitoring the situation to ensure that Indonesian nationals in Myanmar are safe and accounted for.”

A retweet of Human Rights Watch Deputy Director for Asia Phil Robertson’s tweet of the protests by Myanmar-based Twitter user Hnin Zaw conveyed the extent of the protests before the Indonesian Embassy.

“’We don’t need another election!!’,” the image proclaimed, along with the hashtag #respectourvotes.

Also read: Indonesia Weighs in on Military Coup in Myanmar

Faizasyah also reiterated Indonesia’s wish “to find a peaceful solution to the Myanmar [crisis], namely a democratically inclusive political process that involves the conflicting parties," he said.

Myanmar’s military forces, the Tatmadaw, carried out the February 1 coup, four months after they lost to Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD [National League for Democracy] party in elections last November. They also arrested Suu Kyi and other NLD members. 

They rejected the results of the elections on grounds that they were rigged, and promised to hold new elections at an unspecified date. The military forces already killed three protesters in the unrest, which occurred on a daily basis since the military coup occurred.

(Writer: Deti Mega Purnamasari | Editors: Bayu Galih, Dani Prabowo, Danur Lambang Pristiandaru, Ardi Priyatno Utomo)


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