The delegate of Vietnam has reiterated that ASEAN should maintain its policy of non-interference.
Police striking a protestor as he runs through a police barricade in Letpadan Bago division [Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters]
Yang Zhi He
08 June 2022
Delegates from different member states convene for the second day to address the issue of Myanmar’s coup d'état.
This coup happens just a decade after the end of the previous military Junta where at least 3000 people were killed in 1988 with many others arrested.
The coup occurring on 1 February 2021, saw the elected leader and other senior figures from the ruling party detained in early morning raids by the military.
Following this, the military declared a state of emergency for a year which saw all legislative, executive and judicial powers forfeited to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
In videos obtained by Al Jazeera, personnel dressed in tactical gear can be seen repeatedly striking unarmed civilians in broad daylight and firing weapons at large crowds of protestors.
Thomas Andrew, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar called the coup “a brutal assault on the people of Myanmar”.
Since the start of the coup, nearly 12 000 people were unlawfully detained, 8000 of those are still in custody. A reported 1500 people have been killed with 200 of those allegedly killed due to torture.
In response, the military denied that atrocities have taken place and instead blamed terrorists for causing unrest, adding that it has a duty to ensure peace and security.
This has led Myanmar nationals to call for “pragmatic and effective intervention from the international community”. However, the response from such bodies has been limited.
When questioned if ASEAN would take any action to intervene in the conflict, there seemed to be a unanimous agreement to uphold and maintain ASEAN’s non-interference policy.
Curiously, member states chose to focus on providing humanitarian aid and economic recovery for Myanmar instead of interfering for fear of “destabilising regional security”.
This was done despite Myanmar repeatedly blocking humanitarian aid from reaching those in need.
Some member states are aware of this curious choice and declared that the humanitarian blockade needs to be addressed, however at the time concrete solutions were not presented.