Myanmar junta chief to attend ASEAN summit on first foreign trip since coup


Myanmar junta chief Min Aung Hlaing will attend an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Indonesia on April 24, a Thai foreign ministry spokesman stated on Saturday, for his first recognized foreign trip since he staged a Feb. 1 coup.

Myanmar has been in upheaval since Min Aung Hlaing ousted an elected authorities led by democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi, with safety forces killing 728 folks, in accordance to an activist group tally, in an try to stamp out protests.

In the most recent violence, safety forces shot and killed two folks within the ruby-mining city of Mogok, certainly one of a number of cities by which crowds got here out to protest on Saturday, a resident informed Reuters and media reported.

Myanmar’s neighbours have been making an attempt to encourage talks between the rival sides to resolve the disaster however the navy has proven little willingness to have interaction with them or discuss to the ousted authorities.

Several leaders of the 10-member ASEAN, of which Myanmar is a member, had confirmed their attendance on the assembly within the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, together with Min Aung Hlaing, the Thai spokesman, Tanee Sangrat, stated.

A spokesman for the Myanmar junta didn’t reply calls searching for remark.Myanmar’s ousted authorities is probably going to decry the junta chief’s participation within the assembly.

Pro-democracy politicians, together with ousted members of parliament, introduced the formation of a National Unity Government (NUG) on Friday, together with Suu Kyi and leaders of the anti-coup protests and ethnic minorities.

The NUG says it’s the respectable political authority. It has known as for worldwide recognition and for ASEAN to reject Min Aung Hlaing’s participation within the assembly and to invite it as an alternative.

A consultant of the NUG was not instantly accessible for remark.

Earlier on Saturday, the junta launched 23,184 prisoners from jails throughout the nation below a New Year amnesty, a Prisons Department spokesman stated, although few if any democracy activists arrested since the coup have been thought to be amongst them.

Saturday is the first day of the normal New Year in Myanmar and the final day of a five-day vacation that’s normally celebrated with visits to Buddhist temples and rowdy water throwing and partying within the streets.

Pro-democracy activists known as for the cancellation of the festivities this yr and as an alternative for folks to focus on a marketing campaign to restore democracy.

Suu Kyi is amongst 3,141 folks arrested in reference to the coup, in accordance to a tally by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group.

“These detainees are mostly from before Feb. 1 but there are also some who were imprisoned after,” Prisons Department spokesman Kyaw Tun Oo informed Reuters by phone.

Asked if any of these being freed might need been detained in reference to the protests in opposition to navy rule, he stated he didn’t have particulars of the amnesties.


While the navy was liberating the hundreds of prisoners, it was additionally searching for 832 folks on warrants in reference to the protests, the AAPP stated.

Among them are 200 folks, together with a number of web celebrities, actors and singers who’ve spoken out in opposition to the coup, wished on a cost of encouraging dissent within the armed forces, which may carry a three-year jail time period.

Two of them, the married couple of movie director Christina Kyi and actor Zenn Kyi, have been detained on the airport in the principle metropolis of Yangon on Saturday as they have been making an attempt to depart on a flight to Bangkok, the Irrawaddy information website reported.

The NUG’s vice chairman, Duwa Lashi La, an ethnic Kachin lawyer, stated in a New Year message the street to changing navy rule with democracy could be tough.

“We pledge to continue working with all ethnic peoples to overthrow the military dictatorship and establish a new federal democracy,” he stated.

The coup has additionally triggered clashes between the military and ethnic minority rebel teams within the north and east.

On Saturday, fighters from the Kachin Independence Army attacked an air base within the north with rockets, certainly one of which hit a close-by village home, injuring one particular person, the Mizzima information company reported.

Suu Kyi faces varied prices together with violating an official secrets and techniques act that might see her jailed for 14 years. Her attorneys dismiss the fees.

The navy has defended its coup with accusations of fraud in a November election gained by Suu Kyi’s celebration, although the election fee dismissed the objections.

The junta has stated it’ll maintain a brand new election inside two years and hand energy to the winner.


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