Published:  02:16 AM, 08 April 2021

ASEAN must end bloodbath in Myanmar

Finally the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has agreed to convene a special meeting over the crisis in Myanmar, but it has not yet announced a date for the event in Jakarta, where the organisation's is based. So far the military junta has killed about 600 protestors since it seized power in February.

Experts are fear that unless immediate steps are taken to end the violence and the mass killing of anti-junta protestors, Myanmar will plunge into a civil war as anti-coup Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), a group made up of elected parliamentarians formally announced plans to set up a "unity government" and binned the military-drafted 2008 constitution. Such a situation will also bring problems for Bangladesh, which is already hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar military persecution, already recognised as genocide.

A statement said after a meeting of its leaders that "it remains in ASEAN's greater interest to see Myanmar resolve the crisis and regain stability" and "urged all parties to refrain from instigating further violence, and for all sides to immediately exercise utmost restraint and flexibility."

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 570 people have been killed by security forces since the coup, and more than 3,000 arrested. The world has condemned the coup, with some imposing economic sanctions or banning hunta leaders from entering their countries, but the bloodbath continues, sadly.

A crisis looms as a fight between the two sides becoming more likely and the outbreak of a civil war is not far away. The ASEAN special meet on Myanmar must end the bloodbath, restore a government acceptable to its people and punish the generals who ordered the killings of the anti-junta protestors.

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