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“ASEAN's non-interference” policy needs to be changed in order to help Myanmar.

“ASEAN's non-interference” policy needs to be changed in order to help Myanmar.

Bernama News reported that analysts said that to solve Myanmar's problems, it must start from within the country itself.

Myanmar's coup military council has been widely condemned by many countries and sanctions have been imposed on them by the United States and the European Union but still, the military continues to target the groups which condemned them as insurgents.

Around 170 people, including women and children, were killed in a recent military junta’s airstrike in Pazigyi village, Kanbalu Township, Sagaing Division.

Amid international pressure on the military council, Professor Dr Azmi Hassan, a geo-strategist, said that the solution to Myanmar’s problems will start within the country through the National Unity Government (NUG), and imposing sanctions on Myanmar would only have a temporary effect on the country’s military council.

He also pointed out that the Military Council has many financial channels such as the sale of gems to foreign countries, and foreign countries have no problem selling jet fuel and other natural resources back to the Military Council.

ASEAN Regional Department Director Dr Rahul Mishra, University of Malaysia, also agreed that sanctions are not beneficial in the long run.

In order to help restore democracy in Myanmar, ASEAN must transition from a policy of non-intervention to a positive intervention based on humanitarian aid. For this, the international community - especially the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and ASEAN countries need to participate in the discussion. ASEAN Regional Director Dr Rahul Mishra said that although ASEAN has strongly condemned the recent air attack by the Burmese army on its own people in Pazigyi village, the intervention is still not enough.

Due to the lack of legal provisions in ASEAN, it is difficult to implement the five-point agreement. For this reason, ASEAN and its member countries should develop a more regular and collective approach based on closer ties. Otherwise, Myanmar will not be able to return to a normal state, he said.

The five-point ASEAN consensus implementation was agreed by ASEAN leaders in Jakarta, Indonesia in April of 2021. The implementation includes ending the violence and having a positive discussion among all the countries and as ASEAN, to appoint a special representative for ASEAN for Myanmar for discussion and lastly, it includes factors such as allowing the special representative to visit Myanmar.

Meanwhile, geo-strategist Professor Dr Azmi Hassan said that ASEAN's influence on the Myanmar Military Council was too limited and only one or two of the five-point ASEAN agreements were implemented. If Myanmar is removed from ASEAN, it will be a bold move, but it is likely that there will be bigger problems within the group regarding Myanmar.

As for whether the United Nations should send peace representatives to Myanmar, Professor Dr Azmi Hassan, a geo-strategist, and Dr Rahul Mishra, director of the ASEAN Regional Department, said that they should. Both experts said that Myanmar needs help to return to the path of peace. But there are still difficulties for such a situation to arise.

In order for this to happen, we need the approval of the military council and only if the military council ever favors the peace forces. Even ASEAN researchers were not allowed to enter the country. Professor Dr Azmi pointed out that such a case is far-fetched. Director of the ASEAN Regional Department, Dr Rahul Mishra, said that the peacekeepers from the United Nations can enter. But the bigger concern is that China and Russia won't accept this and will shut down the whole program.


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