The Indonesian president says “Violence must end, stability and peace must be restored”
(Face Of Nigeria Blog News)- The Indonesian president called on the military junta in Burma to stop violence against civilians and restore democracy at an Asian meeting.
As an important point of protocol, the Indonesian authorities have described the junta leader as the “head of the Burmese army” to avoid recognizing him as the legitimate ruler of the country, and neither President Joko Widodo nor his Foreign Minister ‘had a separate meeting with him.
The United Nations Special Envoy for Burma, Christine Schraner Burgener, was also in Jakarta for talks on the sidelines of the summit.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo called on the Burmese junta to end violence against civilians and restore democracy, following a crisis meeting with leaders of Southeast Asian countries and the leader of the Burmese army.
These statements, unusually firm for the leader of the largest country in the region, come after the meeting organized in Jakarta by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in response to the bloody crackdown by the junta.
Since the military coup of February 1, repression has left more than 700 dead in Burma and a UN rapporteur has estimated the refugees at more than 250,000 people, threatening to destabilize the region.
Burmese General Min Aung Hlaing was on his first trip abroad since Burmese forces confiscated power and placed civilian head of government Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.
“The first commitment requested is that the Burmese army cease the use of violence and that all parties exercise restraint to reduce tensions,” said the Indonesian leader.
“The violence must end, stability and peace in Burma must be restored.”
Joko Widodo also called for the release of political prisoners, to authorize humanitarian aid and for ASEAN emissaries to “promote dialogue with all parties”.
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong assured that the junta leader had “heard”. “He was not opposed to ASEAN playing a constructive role,” he told reporters.
The Singaporean leader also called for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, placed under house arrest since the coup.
Indonesia and Brunei, the country which currently chairs ASEAN, organized this meeting of the leaders of most of the ten nations of the organization which also includes Burma, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Laos. A final press release is to be published at a later date.
In Burma, protests continued across the country on Saturday, from Kachin state in the north to Yangon.
In the old capital, demonstrators staged false burials for the generals by breaking saffron-colored pots on the ground, which symbolize separation from the dead.
The arrival of the Burmese general had sparked the anger of human rights defenders and opponents of the junta.
“Meetings which exclude the Burmese people but include chief murderer Min Aung Hlaing will not provide a solution,” the uninvited Burmese shadow government, set up by the opposition, protested in a statement. by Asean.
“The crisis unleashed by the bloodthirsty and remorseful Burmese army has engulfed the country and will cause serious shocks, especially humanitarian shocks,
The organization called on the Indonesian authorities to take legal action against General Min Aung Hlaing and other members of the junta who are traveling to Jakarta.
Several personalities have called on Asean to expel Burma.
But the organization, based on consensus and non-interference has not announced such drastic measure. Rather, analysts saw the meeting as a way to bring the Burmese junta to the negotiating table.