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President Jokowi calls for ASEAN summit to discuss Myanmar


President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Friday called for a special ASEAN summit to discuss the Myanmar situation, as harsh crackdowns on anti-coup protesters continue in the member country.

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In a statement, the president said he will propose to Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah that a leaders' meeting be held immediately. Brunei currently serves as chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Expressing concern over security forces' deadly use of force against protesters, the president called for a stop to the violence so there will be "no more casualties."

He also urged all sides in Myanmar to hold talks and seek reconciliation to restore democracy and stability in the country.

Since Myanmar's military seized power in a coup on Feb. 1, toppling the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, Indonesia has led efforts within ASEAN to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis.

ASEAN foreign ministers held an informal meeting earlier this month to discuss Myanmar. At the time, ASEAN expressed concern about the situation.

Meanwhile, Myanmar's state media said Friday that coup leader and military chief Min Aung Hlaing attended an ASEAN meeting by videoconference the previous day, in his first appearance in an international setting since he swept to power in the coup.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Myanmar security forces opened fire on Friday during a confrontation in the central town of Aungban with opponents of a Feb. 1 military coup, killing eight people, the Myanmar Now news portal said.

Seven people were killed in the town and one wounded person died after being taken to hospital in the nearby town of Kalaw, the portal said, citing Aungban's funerary service, Reuters reported.

Published : March 20, 2021

By : The Jakarta Post/ANN