Malaysian leader wants tougher ASEAN pressure on Myanmar

Feb 9, 2023, 2:53 PM | Updated: Feb 10, 2023, 6:09 am
Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, left, and Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arri...

Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, left, and Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrive to review an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at the Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

BANGKOK (AP) — Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Friday issued a strong call for fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to take new measures to pressure the government of military-ruled Myanmar to end what he called “atrocities” against its own people.

Anwar, on a two-day official visit to Thailand, said in a speech to the Malaysian-Thai Chamber of Commerce that ASEAN members “have to be courageous enough to try and resolve” the crisis in Myanmar, which some U.N. experts have described as a civil war triggered by the army’s seizure of power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2021.

Security forces have killed thousands of civilians and army sweeps through the countryside have displaced more than 1 million people from their homes. In 2017, a brutal counterinsurgency campaign against the Muslin Rohingya minority drove more than 740,000 to flee across the border to Bangladesh, where they remain in refugee camps.

Anwar said Myanmar has “every right” to have its own domestic policies and priorities. “But no country in these times should ever continue with discriminatory policies, marginalization of their people or intimidating, or worse, perpetrating violence against your own people,” he said.

ASEAN “will have to promote, suggest new mechanisms to make sure that these atrocities committed, perpetrated against their own people must end,” Anwar said. The regional grouping “should be courageous enough to try and resolve this” because it should not tolerate such abuses and because the crisis drives large numbers of refugees to seek safety in other countries in the region, including Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

“It would be ideal if we have a strong consensus, and give a strong message to the Myanmar regime,” Anwar said.

After the army’s takeover, ASEAN came up with a five-point plan to try to help restore peace in Myanmar. It calls for the immediate cessation of violence, a dialogue among all parties, mediation by an ASEAN special envoy, provision of humanitarian aid and a visit to Myanmar by the special envoy to meet all sides. The military government initially agreed to it, but has since stymied efforts at its implementation.

ASEAN responded by refusing to let Myanmar’s military leaders attend the group’s main meetings, but that has failed to win their cooperation.

Western nations have implemented stronger actions in response to the crisis than has ASEAN, including political and economic sanctions against the generals and their cronies.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Starbucks leader grilled by Senate over anti-union actions

Longtime Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz faced sharp questioning Wednesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
21 hours ago
FILE - The overdose-reversal drug Narcan is displayed during training for employees of the Public H...
Associated Press

FDA approves over-the-counter Narcan; here’s what it means

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved selling naloxone without a prescription, the first over-the-counter opioid treatment.
21 hours ago
FILE - A Seattle police officer walks past tents used by people experiencing homelessness, March 11...
Associated Press

Seattle, feds seek to end most oversight of city’s police

  SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department and Seattle officials asked a judge Tuesday to end most federal oversight of the city’s police department, saying its sustained, decade-long reform efforts are a model for other cities whose law enforcement agencies face federal civil rights investigations. Seattle has overhauled virtually all aspects of its police […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Washington moves to end child sex abuse lawsuit time limits

People who were sexually abused as children in Washington state may soon be able to bring lawsuits against the state, schools or other institutions for failing to stop the abuse, no matter when it happened.
2 days ago
Three children and three adults were killed in a shooting at a private Christian grade school in Na...
Associated Press

Nashville shooter who killed 6 drew maps, surveilled school

Three children were killed in a shooting at a private Christian grade school in Nashville on Monday, hospital officials said.
3 days ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Associated Press

Police: passenger pulled jet’s emergency slide before LAX to SEA flight

A passenger on a Delta Air Lines flight out of Los Angeles International Airport was detained for triggering the plane’s emergency slide prior to takeoff, authorities said.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.
Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Malaysian leader wants tougher ASEAN pressure on Myanmar