ASEAN Forum: Use of Force in Myanmar Must Come to End, President Jokowi Says

By : Nata Kesuma | Monday, April 26 2021 - 17:55 IWST

President Jokowi delivering press statement after attending ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting, Saturday (24/04/2021), at ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.
President Jokowi delivering press statement after attending ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting, Saturday (24/04/2021), at ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo Saturday (24/04) attended the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. The meeting discussed ASEAN’s joint effort to help Myanmar overcome its current crisis.

In his remarks, President Jokowi underscored that the use of force in Myanmar must come to an end and the interests of the people must always be the top priority.

“The situation in Myanmar is unacceptable and must not continue. The use of force must stop and democracy, stability, and peace in Myanmar must be restored immediately. The interests of the people of Myanmar must always be the top priority,” the President told the press after the meeting.

During the meeting that was also attended by Military Commander of Myanmar General Min Aung Hlaing, President Jokowi also stressed the importance of the country’s military commander to commit to three points.

“The first commitment is to stop the use of force by Myanmar military. In the meantime, all parties must exercise restraint so that the tension can be eased,” the President said.

The President also called for a commitment to commence an inclusive dialogue.

“Political prisoners must be released immediately and the ASEAN Special Envoy, namely the Secretary General and Chair of the ASEAN, must be appointed to push for a dialogue with all parties in Myanmar,” he stressed.

As for the final commitment, the President asked Military Commander of Myanmar to open access to humanitarian aids from the ASEAN.

“The third commitment is the opening of access to humanitarian aids from the ASEAN, coordinated by the Secretary General of the ASEAN along with the AHA Center (the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management),” he said, adding that Indonesia will continue to oversee the follow-up to the three commitments asked.

“Indonesia is committed to overseeing the follow-up of the commitments so the political crisis in Myanmar can be resolved immediately,” he stated.

The President further said that Indonesia’s perspective is in line with the perspective of other ASEAN leaders and the agreement made during the meeting is conveyed in a consensus consisting of five points.

“Secretary General of the ASEAN has relayed five points of consensus that will be delivered by the Chair or Secretary General of the ASEAN. The content is more or less the same as what I have delivered in this national statement,” he said.

According to the President, the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting was the initiative of Indonesia that has continued to work hard with Brunei Darussalam as Chair of the ASEAN to arrange this meeting.

“We must be grateful that the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting was finally able to be held today. Since I called the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam on 23 March 2021, together with the Chair (of the ASEAN), Indonesia has worked hard to ensure that the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting can be held,” he remarked.

For the record, besides Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Hassanal Bolkiah, the meeting was also attended by Prime Minister of Vietnam Phạm Minh Chính, Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, Foreign Minister of the Philippines Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. as the Philippines’ special envoy, Foreign Minister of Thailand Don Pramudwinai as Thailand’s special envoy, Foreign Minister of Laos Saleumxay Kommasith as Laos’ special envoy and Military Commander of Myanmar General Min Aung Hlaing. 

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