Context:

Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing is set to join a special ASEAN summit according to Thai Foreign Ministry.

Myanmar’s shadow government urged Southeast Asian leaders to give it a seat at the table during crisis talks next week, and not to recognise the military regime that seized power in a February coup.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (India’s Neighbors, Foreign policies and developments affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. The story so far: Situation of chaos in Myanmar
  2. About the recent developments in the Myanmar Coup
  3. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

The story so far: Situation of chaos in Myanmar

The story so far: Situation of chaos in Myanmar

  • For most of its independent years, the country has been engrossed in rampant ethnic strife and its myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world’s longest-running ongoing civil wars.
  • During this time, the United Nations and several other organisations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country.
  • In 2011, the military junta was officially dissolved following a 2010 general election, and a nominally civilian government was installed.
  • This, along with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners, had improved the country’s human rights record and foreign relations and has led to the easing of trade and other economic sanctions.
  • There is, however, continuing criticism of the government’s treatment of ethnic minorities, its response to the ethnic insurgency, and religious clashes.
  • In the 2015 election, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a majority in both houses – however, the Burmese military remained a powerful force in politics.

About the recent developments in the Myanmar Coup

  • The February Coup triggered a massive uprising, bringing hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets to demand a return to democracy, while civil servants have boycotted work in a bid to shutter the junta’s administration.
  • The military has deployed lethal force to quell the anti-coup movement, killing more than 720 people.
  • The international community has largely condemned the generals for use of force against unarmed civilians — imposing targeted sanctions against top military brass, their families and army-linked businesses.
  • The military chief’s invitation to the meeting of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations has drawn scorn from activists and former lawmakers who have urged foreign leaders not to formally recognise the junta.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising Ten Countries in Southeast Asia.
  • In 1967 ASEAN was established with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • ASEAN is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
  • 8th August is observed as ASEAN Day.
  • Chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.
  • ASEAN is the 3rd largest market in the world – larger than EU and North American markets.
  • A major partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, ASEAN maintains a global network of alliances and dialogue partners and is considered by many as the central union for cooperation in Asia-Pacific.

Members of ASEAN

  1. Indonesia
  2. Malaysia
  3. Philippines
  4. Singapore
  5. Thailand
  6. Brunei
  7. Vietnam
  8. Laos
  9. Myanmar
  10. Cambodia
ASEAN Member Countries Thailand Cambodia Malaysia Indonesia Myanmar Singapore Laos Vietnam Philip 'les Brunei Darussalam

ASEAN’s Objectives:

  1. To promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.
  2. To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations.
  3. To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
  4. To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.

-Source: The Hindu

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