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ASEAN Special Envoy cuts short his visit to Myanmar without meeting with key stakeholders

Yangon (Chindwin) : Despite a call to meet with opposition parties, civil societies, ethnic armed organizations and all key stakeholders – mainly a parallel National Unity Government, the ASEAN Special envoy, Mr Prak Sokhonn has left Myanmar without meeting with all important key stakeholders by cutting short his visit to Myanmar a day earlier than initially planned as he departed from Yangon international airport this morning at 7:20 am, 23 March 2022. 

Chindwin has learned Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Cambodia has met only with the junta leader, his Cabinet Ministers appointed by the coup leader and representatives of some of the political parties who are reportedly collaborated with the coup regime. 

Soon after Mr Prak Sokhonn arrived in Myanmar on 21 March, he met with the junta leader in Naypyitaw, in which the junta leader promised Mr Sokhonn that he is working hard to implement the ASEAN’s Five Consensus agreed upon last year at a special meeting in Jarkata. 

On 22 March, Mr Sokhonn and his Associates met with representatives of political parties at Lotte Hotel in Yangon. Several representatives, including U Ko Ko Gyi, the People’s Party leader, were seen attending the meeting. 

According the media statement, the People’s Party said the party leader has proposed four action plans to Mr Sokhonn during a meeting that: 

1) all political prisoners be released

2) establish a protective measure for civilian casualty 

3) increase humanitarian aid 

4) implement a political dialogue for all political parties and key stakeholders 

No other political party is issuing the statement following a meeting with Mr Prak Sokhonn. 

After meeting with representatives of political parties handpicked by the junta regime, the ASEAN special envoy also had a meeting with Lieutenant General Yar Pyae, who is tasked to spearhead the junta’s peace efforts dealing with ethnic armed groups. 

The ASEAN special envoy team is said to have also met with the junta’s Ministers responsible for COVID-19 Prevention and Response and Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.

To sum up the ASEAN special envoy’s visit to Myanmar, the ASEAN led by Cambodia appears to be taking missteps at the beginning of its special efforts to end violence in Myanmar as the special envoy returns home without meeting or listening to key stakeholders in the country. 

Mr Sokhonn says the junta leader told him that he would give consideration to all requests to meet with the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in the future, which is easy to be interpreted on the flip side that Mr Sokhonn has returned home with a mere promise by the junta leader which he had already given to the regional bloc leader in April last year. 

While Mr Sokhonn was in a meeting with the junta leader and its Cabinet members, the junta regime has stepped up, on the other hand, sending massive convoy and reinforcement to Karen and Kayah at the east, Chin at the west and Kachin at the north in a blatant attempt to escalate the war. 

As the regional bloc’s special envoy is welcomed by a protest led by student and religious leader ranging from a remote area to the largest city, it is quite clear that the people of Myanmar, in fact, will not accept the efforts of the special envoy of ASEAN unless Mr Sokhonn is apparently engaged with the parallel National Unity Government, leaders of ethnic armed organizations and other key political parties to help solve the political crisis in strife-torn Myanmar.

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