The Southeast Asian leaders have announced that a consensus on ending the present crisis in Myanmar has been reached with the military that seized power on February 1.
This was disclosed in a five-point statement on the crisis in Myanmar released by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) shortly after a summit held in Jakarta on Saturday.
The ASEAN has demanded the “immediate cessation of violence” and calling on all parties in the country to exercise “utmost restraint” and agree on “constructive dialogue” to resolve the crisis.
Myanmar – part of the 10-nation ASEAN – has been in turmoil since the military overthrew civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup on February 1, triggering a mass uprising from all corners of society demanding a return to democracy.
“[All] parties concerned shall commence to seek a peaceful solution in the interests of the people,” ASEAN said.
The bloc added that “a special envoy of the ASEAN Chair shall facilitate mediation of the dialogue process, with the assistance of the Secretary-General of ASEAN”.
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin earlier told reporters that they had agreed on a plan with Myanmar’s junta chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing to end the crisis.
“We tried not to accuse his side too much because we don’t care who’s causing it,” Muhyiddin added.
“We just stressed that the violence must stop. For him, it’s the other side that’s causing the problems. But he agreed that violence must stop.”
ASEAN leaders wanted a commitment from Min Aung Hlaing to restrain his security forces, who an activist monitoring group says have killed 745 people since a mass civil disobedience movement erupted to challenge his Feb. 1 coup. They had also wanted the release of political prisoners.
“He did not reject what was put forward by me and many other colleagues,” Muhyiddin said.
However, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong added that the process had a long way to go, “because there’s one thing to say you’ll cease violence and release political prisoners; it’s another thing to get it done”.