Myanmar’s opposition applauds Asean’s rejection and demands an invitation to the summit


Myanmar’s shadow government, which opponents of the ruling military created, applauded the absence of junta leader Min Aung Hlaing from a regional conference on Monday (Oct 18).
On the other hand, the opposition said it would accept the invitation of an impartial alternative Myanmar ambassador, as agreed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations over the weekend (ASEAN).
In a great insult to the military commanders behind a Feb 1 coup against Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratic government, Asean will welcome a non-political delegate from Myanmar to its Oct 26-28 summit. The military has outlawed the opposition National Unity Government (NUG), which says the non-political individual who attends the meeting cannot be a junta official in disguise.
“Asean’s decision to exclude Min Aung Hlaing is a significant step forward, but we ask that they recognise us as the appropriate representative,” said Dr. Sasa, the group’s spokesperson. The move was extremely bold for the consensus-driven group, which has generally favoured engagement and non-interference policies.
Brunei, the current chair of Asean, released a statement criticizing a lack of progress on restoring peace in Myanmar that the junta agreed to with ASEAN in April. A spokesperson for Myanmar’s military government blamed the decision on “foreign meddling,” which he claimed was contrary to Asean’s aims, the ASEAN Charter, and its values.
Myanmar has been upheaval since a military coup injunction ended a decade of shaky democracy and economic development. Thousands of opponents, including Aung San Suu Kyi, have been detained.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, an activist group that has documented the arrests and executions, security personnel have killed over 1,100 individuals. Opponents have been labelled “terrorists” by the military.


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