BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Brunei, the current chair of ASEAN, has issued a statement on behalf of the bloc calling for dialogue and a “return to normalcy” after the military seized power in Myanmar and declared a one-year state of emergency.
This comes after a series of early morning raids on Monday, which saw the arrest of de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD).
“We encourage the pursuance of dialogue, reconciliation and the return to normalcy in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar,” Brunei said in the chair’s statement, which was posted on the ASEAN website this evening.
“We recall the purposes and the principles enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, including, the adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
The chair added: “We reiterate that the political stability in ASEAN Member States is essential to achieving a peaceful, stable and prosperous ASEAN Community.”
This is the first political crisis ASEAN has faced this year, prompting deep concern across the region just five years after Myanmar saw a peaceful transition to a democratically-elected civilian government. ⠀
The detention of Suu Kyi and other politicians came after days of escalating tension in the aftermath of last November’s election, which resulted in a landslide win for Suu Kyi’s NLD party.
The military claimed massive voting fraud, an allegation that Myanmar’s election commission has rejected.⠀
Army chief Min Aung Hlaing is now in charge and has imposed a one-year state of emergency, according to a military-owned tv station.
Troops are patrolling streets in major cities across Myanmar and communications are limited.