March 30, 2021, 01.54 PM
Security forces stand guard during a demonstration by protesters against the military coup in Yangon's Hlaing Tharyar township on March 14, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP) AFP PHOTO/STRSecurity forces stand guard during a demonstration by protesters against the military coup in Yangon's Hlaing Tharyar township on March 14, 2021. (Photo by STR / AFP)

Third, a breakup of Myanmar, which is by no means ruled out, would endanger the stability of the entire region. People have already started fleeing to places like India and Thailand.

After the last violent crackdown on protests in 1988, 360,000 people fled to Bangladesh, China, India, Malaysia, and, particularly, Thailand, according to a report by the International Commission of Jurists.

Also readMyanmar Families Hold Funerals for Victims Killed in Protests against Military Junta

In an opinion piece for the Bangkok Post, former Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Pirmoya warned of a "refugee crisis" and destabilization of the border regions.

He added: "ASEAN not only has the right, but the responsibility, to act decisively and take concrete actions to ensure that Myanmar's generals end the violence, reverse their coup, respect the will of the people, and allow democracy to prevail in Myanmar."

Divided reactions to the coup

In contrast to the former foreign minister's clear appeal, Thailand's government, which itself came to power in a coup in 2014, has so far avoided criticizing the Myanmar military, calling the coup an internal affair of the country.

Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines have reacted in the same way. While the governments of Vietnam and Cambodia are authoritarian regimes themselves, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared war on democracy in his country.

Malaysia and Indonesia, on the other hand, took a stand against the Myanmar military junta and criticized the violence there. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin expressed his "disgust at the continuing deadly violence against unarmed civilians."

Also readAnother Day of Coup Protests in Myanmar Ends in Bloodshed

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