Updated: August 23, 2021 06:53 AM GMT
People walk past makeshift structures along the Myanmar-China border on Aug. 15 after residents from Pansai in Muse township fled their villages due to fighting between the military and ethnic groups. (Photo: AFP)
The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) has come under attack for inviting a representative from Myanmar’s illegitimate military junta to its general assembly this week.
AIPA is convening its 42nd General Assembly in Brunei via video conferencing from Aug. 23-25 for representatives of 10 Southeast Asian nations.
The Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) has condemned the exclusion of Myanmar’s parliamentary delegation from the general assembly despite the AIPA president approving a representative from the unelected junta to attend as an observer.
“The only conclusion we can draw is that the AIPA president has steered the ASEAN parliamentary family to an undemocratic and unrepresentative course,” CRPH chairman Aung Kyi Nyunt said in an Aug. 22 statement.
“The 42nd assembly will be marked as one of shame if AIPA chooses to flout its own statutes that include the provision to promote the principles of human rights, democracy, peace, security and prosperity in ASEAN.”
Daniel Caspary, a German politician and member of the European Parliament, said he was "appalled" to learn that the democratically elected CRPH from Myanmar has not been invited to participate in the assembly.
We appeal to AIPA to advocate for the meaningful and immediate enforcement of ASEAN’s five-point consensus on the situation in Myanmar
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) urged AIPA to formally welcome delegates from CRPH as the sole and only legitimate representatives of Myanmar’s parliament and to reject the junta’s delegates.
“We appeal to AIPA to advocate for the meaningful and immediate enforcement of ASEAN’s five-point consensus on the situation in Myanmar as well as the immediate restoration of democracy and human rights for all in the country,” APHR said in an Aug. 18 statement.
A special summit in Jakarta in late April attended by the junta leader reached a consensus which included ending violence, constructive talks among all parties concerned and sending aid to Myanmar.
Critics have said the consensus lacked a time frame and follow-up plan as coup leader Min Aung Hlaing, recently named prime minister of the caretaker government, said they will consider it only when stability returns.
ASEAN appointed Brunei’s second minister for foreign affairs, Erywan Yusof, as special envoy to Myanmar on Aug. 4. Yusof pledged to visit the country and meet with all parties but ASEAN has yet to release the exact date of his visit.
The people of Myanmar have little confidence in the bloc’s ability to solve its crisis following February’s military coup despite the United Nations, EU and US supporting ASEAN’s five-point consensus.
More than 1,000 people have been killed by security forces since the Feb. 1 coup in a bloody crackdown against anti-coup protesters and civil resistance groups in urban and rural areas.
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