YANGON, MYANMAR — Myanmar’s junta on Wednesday criticised an ASEAN statement condemning military violence and the targeting of civilians as “one-sided”, a day after it said it would not take up its upcoming chairmanship of the bloc.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the 2021 military coup that sparked mass protests and a bloody military crackdown.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has led fruitless attempts to defuse the crisis, with a five-point peace plan agreed with the generals largely moribund and the junta refusing to engage with its opponents.
At a summit on Tuesday, ASEAN leaders called on the military to “de-escalate violence and stop targeted attacks on civilians”.
Host Indonesia said there had been “no significant progress” on the plan.
Myanmar slammed the review as “not objective” and “one-sided”, in a statement published Wednesday in the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar.
It called on ASEAN to “strictly adhere to the provisions and fundamental principles of the ASEAN Charter, especially non-interference in the internal affairs of the member states.”
Internationally isolated Myanmar will not take up its scheduled chairmanship of ASEAN in 2026, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told reporters on Tuesday.
The Philippines will chair instead, as the bloc wrestles with how to engage with the junta, whose leaders are banned from high-level ASEAN meetings.
Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun confirmed to AFP that Myanmar would not be chair in 2026, without providing details.
Myanmar previously withdrew from the ASEAN chairmanship in 2006 over a potential boycott by the United States, the European Union and other international powers.
The chair went to the Philippines that year.
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