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PM Xanana: Timor-Leste will not enter ASEAN, if the ASEAN leaders do not convince the military junta in Myanmar

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Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão. Foto: Media PR
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DILI,  – The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão emphasized that Timor-Leste will not be part of ASEAN, if this regional political organization is unable to resolve the problem of the Myanmar military junta.

Timor-Leste’s firm stance was also conveyed by PM Xanana to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, that ASEAN leaders could not convince the Myanmar military junta to respect democracy in their country.

“If ASEAN is unable to convince the Military Junta in Myanmar, I can say Timor-Leste cannot yet trust this association, this is the position of the government,” said PM Xanana, Thursday (3/8/2023), at the Presidential Palace after meeting President Ramos- Horta.

With a strong statement, PM Xanana said, “As Prime Minister, Timor-Leste will not join ASEAN, if the association is unable to convince the military junta, I have also conveyed Timor-Leste’s position to the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres”.

The Myanmar Military Junta’s promise to hold elections in August 2023 after carrying out a military coup in 2021 could not be realized and postponed the holding of elections in the country for security reasons and extended the state of emergency in the country.

The decision to postpone the elections was made directly by the military junta leader Min Aung Hlaing, Monday (31/7/2023) as reported by Reuters.

Violence that is still happening in Myanmar is the main reason for the Military Junta to postpone holding elections.

“In carrying out elections, so that elections are free and fair, and can vote without fear, security arrangements are still needed so that the state of emergency needs to be extended,” the Myanmar military junta said in a statement on state TV.

Responding to the announcement, as reported by cnnindonesia, the United States Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that extending the state of emergency would plunge Myanmar deeper into the abyss of violence and instability.

“The regime’s widespread brutality and disregard for the democratic aspirations of the people of Myanmar continue to prolong the crisis,” said State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

Myanmar is in a political and humanitarian crisis after the military took power in February 2021. The junta accused the winning party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) of fraud during the November 2020 vote.

When carrying out its action, the military also arrested the chairman of the NLD party, Aung San Suu Kyi, to state officials such as the president and vice president.

Unable to accept the overthrow, residents took to the streets to protest against the military. However, the junta responded with violence.

A number of militias in Myanmar also participated against the junta. Many of the civilians took up arms after practicing secretly in the forest.

The Aung Hlaing regime also did not hesitate to arrest and kill anyone who was deemed to be against their government.

According to a human rights monitoring agency, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), reported the death toll since the coup has reached 3,875, while 24,100 have been arrested. They are still detained as many as 19,733 people.

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