JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – ASEAN has closed its high level summit in Jakarta on the Myanmar crisis by delivering its strongest criticism yet of the country’s military coup last February and the resulting violence in its wake over the past two months.
The summit’s host, Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in his capacity as ASEAN chairman, and other leaders hammered out five agreements to resolve the Myanmar crisis during the ASEAN Leaders Meeting or ALM summit.
“First, the violence in Myanmar must stop and that all parties must exercise self-restraint,” said the ALM in its press release on Saturday. “Second, the conflicting sides must exercise restraint to reduce tensions and bring about inclusive dialogue.”
“Thirdly, ASEAN needs to send a special envoy, namely its Secretary-General and the ASEAN chairman country, to facilitate dialogue with the conflicting parties in Myanmar.”
“Fourth, ASEAN should send humanitarian aid to Myanmar via the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management or AHA Centre. Fifth, an ASEAN special envoy and delegation will visit Myanmar to meet all parties in the conflict.”
President Jokowi highlighted the need to abide by the agreements, as “democracy, stability and peace must be restored in Myanmar. The interests of the people of Myanmar must always be prioritized.”
Sultan Hassanal reiterated Jokowi. “We are concerned about the situation in Myanmar, not least reports of loss of life and escalation of violence. We also hear the calls to release all political prisoners, some of whom are foreign nationals.”
Myanmar’s military or Tatmadaw has killed more than 700 people and imprisoned thousands of others since General Min overthrew democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s governing National League of Democracy [NLD] during a coup on February 1.