Myanmar's junta to 'positively' consider Asean suggestion on ending crisis

YANGON (REUTERS) – Myanmar’s junta will give “careful consideration to constructive suggestions” from Asean on ways to resolve violent turmoil triggered by a Feb 1 coup, the junta said.

“The suggestions would be positively considered if it… serves the interests of the country and was based on purposes and principles enshrined in Asean”, it said in a statement published on Tuesday (April 27).

Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing attended an Asean meeting in Indonesia on the weekend at which the bloc issued a so-called five-point consensus on steps to end the violence and promote dialogue between the rival Myanmar sides.

According to a statement from group chair Brunei, a consensus was reached on five points – ending violence, a constructive dialogue among all parties, a special Asean envoy to facilitate the dialogue, acceptance of aid and a visit by the envoy to Myanmar. The five-point consensus did not mention political prisoners, although the chairman’s statement said the meeting “heard calls” for their release.

People in Myanmar on Sunday criticised the agreement, saying it fell short of restoring democracy and holding the army accountable for hundreds of civilian deaths.

There were scattered protests in Myanmar’s big cities a day after the meeting, with many on social media voicing their discontent. Activists on Monday also called for people to stop paying electricity bills and agricultural loans, and to keep their children away from school.

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