Army spokesman Zaw Min Tun said the ASEAN special envoy was unable to meet with the fallen civilian leader because she faced legal action.
Myanmar’s ruling military will not block ASEAN special envoy’s visit but will not allow him to meet with former detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi as she is accused of crimes, military spokesman says .
Zaw Min Tun added in remarks Wednesday that the delay by the United Nations in approving the appointment of generals to the post of UN ambassador was politically motivated and that the international community “should avoid double standards when engaging in international affairs “.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations special envoy to Myanmar Erywan Yusof hopes to visit the country ahead of the organization’s summit in late October.
The spokesman’s remarks come amid mounting pressure on the Burmese military to implement a five-point plan that senior general Min Aung Hlaing agreed to in April with ASEAN leaders in Jakarta. .
Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr on Thursday said ASEAN should not allow Min Aung Hlaing to attend the summit later this month, adding that the regional organization’s credibility was at stake. Malaysia expressed similar sentiments last week, saying the general should be excluded if the military continues to ignore the ASEAN attempt to resolve the conflict.
The military’s inaction on the ASEAN plan “amounted to a step backwards” and some member countries were “in the midst of discussing” Min Aung Hlaing’s exclusion from the summit, Yusof said last week.
Erywan said earlier this week that he was in talks with parties in Myanmar, did not take sides or take a political stance, and was eager to visit the country.
Myanmar has been in political turmoil since the February 1 coup, which sparked a wave of anger and protest that has not abated, with some civilians forming armed groups to confront the powerful army.
The armed forces seized power the day Aung San Suu Kyi was about to form a new government, three months after his party was returned to power following a landslide.
The generals sought to justify the coup by claiming that the election was tainted with fraud, threatening the country’s sovereignty. However, the election commission found no evidence of wrongdoing in the poll.
Zaw Min Tun insisted in his remarks that Myanmar’s judicial system is fair and independent and will handle Aung San Suu Kyi’s case accordingly, adding that the chief justice was appointed by the previous government.
The military has brutally suppressed dissent – shooting at protesters, arresting suspected dissidents in nightly raids, shutting down news outlets and rounding up journalists.
Since the February coup, more than 1,000 civilians have been killed, according to a local watch group.
Despite military repression and deaths, daily protests against the coup plotters continue.
The protests continued Thursday with marches in the country’s largest city, Yangon.
Several protests were also seen in Kale township in the Sagaing region, according to social media posts. Protesters laid wreaths and candles in tribute to those killed by security forces.