Over 600 regional and international organizations from Myanmar have sent a resonating message to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), demanding alignment with the fervent calls of the Myanmar people for a federal democratic union. These organizations have expressed their dismay over ASEAN's push for an inclusive national dialogue. They believe this approach undermines the will of the Myanmar populace and hampers the journey towards a federal democratic union.
Opposition to the ASEAN Five Point Consensus
The letter, signed by these organizations, has criticized the ASEAN Five Point Consensus (5PC), labeling it a failure. The signatories accuse ASEAN of neglecting the root causes of the persisting atrocity crimes perpetrated by the Myanmar military. The letter spotlights the need for ASEAN to execute concrete actions that hold the military junta and its leader Min Aung Hlaing accountable for the mass atrocity crimes.
Call for Concrete Actions
The signatories urge ASEAN to respect and prioritize the aspirations of the Myanmar people, to halt the current dialogue process, and to collaborate with the UN Security Council to refer the crisis in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court. The letter underscores the military's violent actions, including airstrikes against civilians, mass arrests, and killings, and the destruction of property, as stark proof of the junta's brutality.
The Plight of the Rohingya Ethnic Group
In the midst of this political upheaval, the ethnic Rohingya war, which surfaced in 2012, continues to persist. Over 200 ethnic Rohingya people arrived in the Indonesian region of Aceh on November 21, 2023, as a result of escalating ethnic violence in Myanmar. The Rohingya people, subjected to a plethora of human rights violations by Myanmar, including discrimination, expulsion, murder, and sexual harassment, have made the heartrending decision to abandon their homeland, seeking refuge in foreign lands. The ASEAN's lack of decisive policies to handle the influx of Rohingya refugees has only added to the crisis.
These calls for change and accountability reflect a growing global concern over the human rights abuses and political instability in Myanmar. As the crisis continues, the international community and organizations alike are urging ASEAN to take a stronger stand and act to protect the rights and lives of the Myanmar people.