ASEAN calls for junta action – Daily Tribune

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AFP) – Southeast Asian ministers on Friday condemned the lack of progress on a crisis resolution plan for coup-hit Myanmar and urged the junta to take action ahead of a regional summit later this year.

The demand was included in a joint statement by the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) following talks in Phnom Penh.

And in a veiled warning to Myanmar’s junta, the statement – citing Article 20 of the ASEAN Charter – noted that the leaders’ meeting later this year would still take action against the Naypyidaw authorities’ “non-compliance” with the five-point consensus could take.”

Earlier in the week, Malaysia – which has led calls for tougher measures – said Myanmar could be expelled from the bloc if members didn’t see concrete progress ahead of the leaders’ summit.

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Friday’s statement said ASEAN’s special envoy for Myanmar must be allowed to meet with “all relevant stakeholders” – a reference to the military junta’s decision to block access to the detained Suu Kyi.

The foreign ministers also condemned the executions of Phyo Zeya Thaw, a rapper-turned-legislator for ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, and veteran political activist Kyaw Min Yu, better known as “Jimmy”, in last month.

Myanmar has been in chaos since a coup last February, and the death toll from the military’s crackdown on dissidents has surpassed 2,100, according to a local watchdog.