ASEAN leaders reach consensus on ending violence in Myanmar

TAKING ACTION Leaders attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on the Myanmar crisis in Jakarta

TAKING ACTION Leaders attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on the Myanmar crisis in Jakarta

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin urged the coup leader to release all detainees promptly and unconditionally.

The general attended a high-level summit Saturday with leaders from the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to discuss Myanmar's mounting crisis.

"The situation in Myanmar is unacceptable and should not continue".

"(But) meetings that exclude the people of Myanmar but include murderer-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing. are unlikely to be helpful".

Security forces have deployed live ammunition to quell the uprising, killing more than 740 people in brutal crackdowns, according to local monitoring group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP). "The pressure is increasing", Muhyiddin said.

"The Myanmar crisis trigged by the military presents ASEAN with the biggest test in its history", said Emerlynne Gil of the London-based rights group.

He also called for the release of political prisoners and for a special envoy to be allowed into the country to "push for dialogue".

Gen Min Aung Hlaing did not make a formal public statement.

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However, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province continues to break records with 2,360 patients now being treated. Hospitalizations grew to 2,360, and of that total, 773 were now in intensive care and 537 of those patients are on a ventilator.

A spokesperson from a shadow government of ousted lawmakers - many of whom are from Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party - on Saturday welcomed the call for an end to violence in Myanmar as "encouraging news".

Myanmar also agreed to other Asean proposals, including humanitarian assistance and national reconciliation efforts in settling the crisis.

The deputy minister said that throughout 2020, Malaysia had deported over 30,000 foreigners including Indonesians, Bangladeshis, Myanmarese and other nationalities.

"International eyes are on [it] to see whether the regional approach that ASEAN has taken to find a resolution in Myanmar is effective", Mr Izzuddin said.

"This is not an internal matter for Myanmar but a major human rights and humanitarian crisis which is impacting the entire region and beyond", said Emerlynne Gil of Amnesty International ahead of Saturday's summit. "The best thing is that there is a representative from Myanmar who says they are ready to accept our representative there".

(Ahadian/VOA Jakarta). Hundreds of activists, many on bikes, protested the presence of Myanmar's General Min Aung Hlaing in Jakarta. As a state party to a United Nations convention against torture, Indonesia has a legal obligation to prosecute or extradite a suspected perpetrator on its territory, it said. Police dispersed dozens of protesters opposing the coup and the junta leader's visit.

The leaders of Thailand and the Philippines skipped the summit to deal with coronavirus outbreaks back home. Laos also canceled at the last minute.

Hun Sen made the remarks during an unofficial ASEAN summit initiated by Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the current ASEAN Chair.

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