Regional Bloc Must Expel Myanmar if Coup Holds — Radio Free Asia

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A grouping of Southeast Asian nations must strain Myanmar and kick it out of the bloc if navy leaders there don’t finish the coup they launched this week, an affiliation of MPs from throughout the area mentioned Tuesday.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, different Asian nations akin to Japan and China, and the West must cease saying “nice things” about reconciliation in Myanmar and take concrete motion, mentioned Charles Santiago, chairman of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights.

“ASEAN should have a high level delegation visit Myanmar in the next days to put pressure on it to return the government back to Aung San Suu Kyi … to impress [upon them] that the coup is not acceptable and very inconsistent and it violates ASEAN principles and the ASEAN charter,” Santiago, a lawmaker from Malaysia, instructed a web based information convention with different pro-democracy teams, referring to the civilian chief of the Myanmar authorities.

“[I]f Myanmar does not turn around, I think there should be proceedings to expel Myanmar out of ASEAN.”

Santiago acknowledged that ASEAN nations have been divided of their particular person responses to the coup, with Cambodia, Thailand, and, initially, the Philippines, saying the event was an inner matter of Myanmar. Notably, all three nations have a historical past of coups.

Santiago is a member of the opposition in Malaysia, which has an unelected authorities and is beneath its first nationwide emergency in additional than 5 a long time.

Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, expressed critical concern about Monday’s coup within the fellow ASEAN state. And the dominion of Brunei, as chair of ASEAN this 12 months, urged a return to normalcy “in accordance with the will and interests” of Myanmar’s folks.

Manila, nevertheless, modified its tune on Tuesday, and likewise expressed worries concerning the navy coup in Myanmar.

“The Philippine government is following with deep concern the developing situation in Myanmar, and is especially concerned with the safety of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” the Department of Foreign Affairs mentioned in a press release.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Fortify Rights, a Southeast Asian group, known as on the United Nations Security Council to impose a worldwide arms embargo on Myanmar and refer the state of affairs within the nation to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy occasion received 396 seats in parliament whereas the army-affiliated Union Solidarity and Development Party received 33 normally elections in November.

Early on Monday, Myanmar’s navy arrested Suu Kyi and different senior leaders, then declared a one-year state of emergency to take care of allegations of voting fraud tied to the final election three months in the past.

On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department mentioned it had assessed that the elected authorities in Myanmar was deposed in a navy coup a day earlier. Therefore, the United States would now evaluation overseas help to the Myanmar authorities, the division mentioned.

Coup an ‘ASEAN problem’

Non-interference in member nations’ home affairs is a foundational precept of ASEAN, so except the coup instantly impacts member nations, the bloc is unlikely to take any motion in opposition to Myanmar, mentioned Mohammad Hasan Ansori, analysis director on the Habibie Center, an Indonesian think-tank.

“Indonesia or any other ASEAN member countries cannot intervene or apply strong pressure. It doesn’t work that way,” Hasan instructed BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated on-line information service.

In truth, regardless that Indonesia on Monday urged Myanmar to implement the ASEAN Charter’s rules – together with a dedication to democratic rules – it should not say or do way more, mentioned Hikmahanto Juawana, a professor in worldwide legislation on the University of Indonesia.

“For now, it’s not advisable for Indonesia to make a statement that could be perceived by the coup government as interfering,” he instructed BenarNews.

The bloc’s non-interference coverage doesn’t apply to the coup in Myanmar as a result of the navy takeover there had wider, regional ramifications and wanted to be addressed by the bloc’s member-nations, Santiago, the Malaysian MP, mentioned.

“This is not interfering because Myanmar’s problem will become an ASEAN problem … because countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand will now have more refugees coming to those countries and this could pose a security problem for those nations,” he mentioned.

Meanwhile, as of December 2020, there have been greater than 150,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from Myanmar registered with UNHCR, the refugee company of the United Nations, in Malaysia, the company mentioned. They comprise 102,250 Rohingya, 22,410 Chins and 29,360 different ethnic teams “from conflict-affected areas or fleeing persecution in Myanmar,” in keeping with UNHCR.

An estimated 600,000 Rohingya folks stay in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, together with some 126,000 who’re successfully confined to camps or camp-like settings established in 2012, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) mentioned on Monday.

In addition, greater than 100,000 folks from numerous communities stay displaced by battle between the Myanmar navy and the Arakan Army in Rakhine and Chin states, OCHA mentioned.

“Humanitarian access to more than a third of these displacement sites remains cut off,” OCHA mentioned.

Fears for Rohingya in Rakhine

The Rohingya in Myanmar are very fearful about what’s going to occur subsequent in Myanmar, mentioned Wai Nu, director of the Women’s Peace Network and a Rohingya activist.

“What is going to happen in the ethnic areas and where the conflict is ongoing? … Mostly in the camps they are very fearful of what will happen to them next, what will be their future,” Nu mentioned on the press convention with Santiago.

“There has been no progress over several years, but with this military coup, they are more frustrated about accountability processes, justice, and peace for the future.”

The U.N. General Assembly president on Tuesday echoed the U.N. spokesman’s worries concerning the Rohingya nonetheless in Myanmar.

“I am deeply concerned that the military coup in Myanmar could further exacerbate the problems of the most vulnerable, including Rohingya Muslims. I condemn the coup once again and call for unrestricted humanitarian access to Rakhine State and other parts of the country,” mentioned Volkan Bozkir mentioned on Twitter.

Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated on-line information service.

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