Myanmar Rejects ASEAN Decision To Exclude Junta Leader

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Myanmar Rejects ASEAN Decision To Exclude Junta Leader From Summit

Myanmar military government said on Friday it rejected a decision by its Southeast Asian neighbors. This is to invite only a non-political figure to an upcoming regional summit in a snub to the leader of the Feb. 1 coup. Coup leader Min Aung Hlaing has led the crackdown on dissent since seizing power from civilian government

The junta’s foreign ministry said in a press release that the heads of state or government of Myanmar enjoyed equal and full rights. This is to participate in summits of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The next summit is due on October 26-28. It is not clear who, if anybody, will now represent Myanmar at the meeting.

“Myanmar will not be in a position to accept any outcome of the discussions and decisions which are contrary to the provisions, objectives and cherished principles of the ASEAN Charter.” The foreign ministry said in its release.

More than 1,000 civilians kill by Myanmar security forces. Thousands got arrests, according to the United Nations. Amid a crackdown on strikes and protests which has derailed the country’s tentative democracy. That prompted international condemnation.

Myanmar’s junta has said those deaths exaggerate.

International pressure had been mounting on ASEAN for a harder line against Myanmar’s failure to take agree to steps to end violence. Allow humanitarian access and start a dialogue with its opponents, in line with an ASEAN “consensus” reached in April.

The decision took by ASEAN foreign ministers at an emergency meeting last Friday. It was an unusually bold step for the consensus-driven bloc. It traditionally favors a policy of engagement and non-interference.

Ministers at last Friday’s meeting divided between sticking to a tradition of non-interference. The need to retain credibility by sanctioning coup leader Min Aung Hlaing. He led the crackdown on dissent since seizing power from Myanmar’s civilian government. Sources with knowledge of the talks told Reuters.

The junta said after the meeting that the ASEAN’s decision went against its longtime principles.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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