Asean says ready to assist Myanmar

BANDAR SERI: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has said that it is ready to assist Myanmar, where the military has seized state control, in a positive, peaceful and constructive manner.

According to the chair’s statement released here on Tuesday on the Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the organisation has been closely following the current developments in the region and concurred that the political stability in any and all member states is essential to achieving a collective peaceful, stable and prosperous Community, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We expressed our concern on the situation in Myanmar and called on all parties to refrain from instigating further violence, and for all sides to exercise utmost restraint as well as flexibility.

“We also called on all parties concerned to seek a peaceful solution, through constructive dialogue and practical reconciliation in the interests of the people and their livelihood,” the statement said.

ASEAN Ministers reiterated that the political stability in member states is essential to achieving a peaceful, stable and prosperous community. “We underscored the need to maintain our unity, centrality, and relevance in the region and to collectively address common challenges.”

The Myanmar military staged the coup on February 1 and declared a year-long state of emergency. It handed all state power over to Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services General Min Aung Hlaing.

In response to the coup, Myanmar has witnessed continued protests demanding the release of former de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior officials of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party and also the restoration of the democratically elected government.

On Sunday, 18 protesters lost their lives, making the deadliest day of the demonstrations.

Protests were staged on Monday, despite the military and police raming up its response against the agitating crowds, the BBC reported.

The military seized power after it had demanded the postponement of new parliamentary sessions, citing massive voting fraud in the November 8, 2020 general elections, which saw the NLD win a majority of seats in both houses of parliament.

Myanmar’s Union Election Commission dismissed the allegation.