PHNOM PENH, KOMPAS.com - Malaysia is set to lead a push for tougher action on Myanmar when a regional bloc of foreign ministers meet this week, as anger mounts at the junta for stonewalling crisis resolution efforts.
The 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) -- which has spearheaded so far fruitless diplomatic efforts to restore peace -- last week condemned the junta’s execution of four prisoners.
Myanmar has been in chaos since a putsch in February last year and the death toll from the military’s brutal crackdown on dissent has passed 2,100, according to a local monitoring group.
Ministers meeting in Phnom Penh from Wednesday are expected to lament the lack of progress on ASEAN’s “five-point consensus” plan, agreed to in April last year, which called for an immediate end to violence and dialogue between the junta and coup opponents.
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As well as voicing “deep concern” about recent developments and calling for restraint, the ministers will also demand “concrete actions to effectively and fully implement the Five-Point Consensus”, according to a draft communique obtained by AFP.
After more than a year of no progress on the plan, Malaysia will present a framework for its implementation, even as critics deride the ASEAN as a toothless talking shop.
“The key element of the framework is there must be an end-game. You have to have an end-game. What is the end-game of the five-point consensus?” Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told AFP.
Making a mockery
Within the bloc, frustrations are growing after the Myanmar junta went ahead with its first executions in decades despite personal pleas from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.