Crucial meeting on the set of Myanmar; The UN is preparing tougher sanctions
RANGON: The UN Security Council will meet a minister from Cambodia, chairman of ASEAN, on Friday to discuss how tougher sanctions against the leaders of Burma’s junta will work, a year after the coup that took place ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, diplomatic sources said.
Cambodia currently leads the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and its ASEAN envoy to Myanmar, Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, will participate in the closed-door talks with the UN special envoy. for Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer, the sources told AFP.
The minister is expected to report on the controversial visit to Myanmar in early January by Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who met the junta in the first visit by foreign leaders since the generals took power last February.
Asean is divided over the thorny issue of Myanmar, and debate has swirled over how the regional bloc – often dismissed as toothless chatter – can help pull Myanmar out of the crisis.
Critics say Hun Sen’s visit risks legitimizing the junta. During his trip, he did not meet Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained after the coup and now faces criminal and corruption charges.
Myanmar has “all the ingredients for a civil war”, Prak Sokhonn said this month.
ASEAN agreed in April on a “five-point consensus” aimed at reversing deteriorating conditions in Myanmar.
The junta accepted the plan, but it had little impact, and the army continues to suppress dissent, sometimes violently.
In a rare intervention Monday at the UN General Assembly, Myanmar Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, who was sacked by the junta but remains in his post at the UN, urged the world body to “help and protect” the people of the country.