04 June 2021: The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) says that the delegation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) currently in Myanmar must uphold its mandate to meet with ALL relevant parties, including the National Unity Government and the democracy movement.
On 3 June 2021, an ASEAN delegation – including ASEAN Chair Dato Erywan Pehin Yosuf, Minister of Foreign Affairs II of Brunei Darussalam, and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi – arrived in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, to engage in dialogue with the military junta.
SAC-M reminds the delegation that it has a mandate from the United Nations Security Council, as well as from ASEAN itself, to engage in dialogue with all relevant parties in Myanmar.
The relevant parties include the National Unity Government, the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the National League for Democracy and ethnic political parties, the Civil Disobedience Movement and the General Strike Committees, as well as the junta.
Failure to meet with all relevant parties risks lending legitimacy to the junta and undermines the enormous effort and sacrifice made by the people of Myanmar to resist the junta’s violent and unlawful attempt to seize power.
For its part, the junta has repeatedly demonstrated that its sole aim is to ensure and perpetuate its primacy as an undisputed, militarized, dictatorial force. For months it has led a concerted process of killings and terror on a scale deemed necessary to forcibly maintain the most undemocratic form of social political order, but which has only hardened the people’s resolve not to submit to military rule.
Despite having taken the lead role amongst the international community in responding to the crisis in Myanmar, ASEAN has so far failed to meaningfully address the situation. By dismissing the consensus reached at April’s ASEAN Leaders Meeting, the junta has treated ASEAN’s previous attempt to engage with contempt.
ASEAN’s wavering amounts to it being possibly an accessory to perpetrating the coup d’etat. Together, ASEAN’s vacillation and the junta’s intransigence put the lives of the people of Myanmar in further acute jeopardy, foreseeing the risk of many more deaths to come, which both ASEAN and the junta will be morally, politically and legally accountable for.