COMMENT | Can Asean step up to the Tatmadaw?

James Chin

Modified 4 May 2021, 5:03 am

COMMENT | On 24 April, key leaders of Asean met the Myanmar junta leader, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, in Jakarta, headquarters of the Asean secretariat.

Among the Asean leaders who showed up were Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính of Vietnam, Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin of Malaysia, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, and of course the host, President Jokowi of Indonesia.

There was only one item on the agenda: how to stop the crisis, especially the killings, in Myanmar. The meeting was unprecedented for Asean, given its reputation for non-interference in the domestic affairs of the ten member-states.

In line with the “Asean Way” of consensus, the final agreement from the meeting was not wholly unexpected. Rather than an agreement that was detailed and...

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