Myanmar crisis detailed talks at ASEAN 2021
- Venkatesh Raghavan
- Apr 27, 2021
MUMBAI: The Association of South East Asian Nations, ASEAN, which comprises 10 neighbouring countries, had to depart from its conventional stand of non-interference in view of the pressing international demand to rescue the military-ruled state of Myanmar from the throes of a civil conflict.
The early February military coup led by Min Aung Hliang that usurped power from a democratically elected government in Myanmar has resulted in over 700 deaths and more than thousands of civilians being imprisoned for their proactive uprising against the military rule. The crisis situation viewed by the international community has precipitated a loud outcry and furore over the blatant violation of human rights.
The international body, UN which keeps an eye on global developments feels that the ASEAN bloc is the most suited multilateral body to tackle the situation and attempt restoration of normalcy in the strife-torn military state. Taking a cue from the UN General Secretary's observations, the 10 nation regional body made a concerted effort to arrive at a consensus solution that can help resolve the unabated frenzy of violence unleashed on a hapless civilian population.
Interestingly, the military dictator Hliang too is participating in the deliberations. Till early Saturday, the 10-nation summit reached unanimity on an immediate cessation of all violence. The summit delegates were of the opinion that once the violence abates, a platform should be made available for peaceful negotiations.
The ASEAN leaders were of the opinion that a special envoy can be then deployed to play a mediatory role in the negotiations. They also sought to provide all humanitarian assistance to the civilian masses of Myanmar.
Finally, the summit participants also expressed unanimity on allowing the UN appointed special envoy to visit Myanmar and hold talks with all the stakeholders in the country. At this point of time, though it seems unlikely to reach such a logical end, though talks about bringing violence to a halt are the major focal point of all the participating delegates in the summit.
Despite the consensus being reached, on the ground, there seems to be little likelihood of any let down on the violence unleashed by the militia owing to the one-sided nature of clashes, with unarmed civilians getting gunned down
There are also reports streaming in about the continued bombing of villages occupied by ethnic minorities of Myanmar. As this unevenly poised confrontation gets underway much is going to depend on how effective international pressure acts to thwart the designs of the military dictator Hliang.