Myanmar junta chief arrives for talks with Southeast Asian leaders

ASEAN told to consider helping those fleeing Myanmar

The summit, called for by Widodo last month, is a departure from the tightly choreographed leaders' meetings that are typical of ASEAN, said Evan Laksmana, a Jakarta-based security analyst.

"General Min agreed that violence must stop", said Muhyiddin after a special meeting of Asean leaders held with the Myanmar junta chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, at the Asean secretariat here.

Leaders of nine Southeast Asian countries on Saturday called for an immediate end to the violence in Myanmar, where the military government has cracked down violently on the enormous protests over its February coup.

"The first requested commitment is for the Myanmar military to stop the use of violence and that all parties there at the same time must refrain so that tensions can be reduced", Mr Widodo said.

"Meetings that contribute to a solution to the deepening crisis in Myanmar are welcome", the latter said in a statement.

According to the statement from Malaysia's Foreign Ministry, besides the Myanmar issue, the leaders will also discuss several pressing issues concerning peace, security, and stability of the region.

"Dr. Sasa, an global envoy for the NUG, who goes by one name, said ASEAN should insist the military stops killing civilians, halts the bombing of villages in ethnic minority areas, releases political prisoners and hands power to the NUG".

The president, who is commonly known as Jokowi, said the leaders had reached a consensus on Myanmar that would be announced by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations secretary general.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, meanwhile, called on the military to release Myanmar's ousted president, as well as democracy icon Suu Kyi who is under house arrest.

Critics have said ASEAN's decision to meet the coup leader was unacceptable and amounted to legitimizing the overthrow and the deadly crackdown that followed.

Paulsen said this during the "Live webinar: United Nations Association of Malaysia (UNAM) Webinar on the Myanmar Crisis" moderated by former Malaysian ambassador to Republic of Korea, Datuk M Santhananaban.

In Myanmar, protesters continued to take to the streets Saturday, including in northern Kachin state, where demonstrators wore blue shirts to symbolise detainees. "The interests of the people of Myanmar must always be the priority".

ASEAN member states may consider offering refuge and protection to all those fleeing Myanmar as a result of the political crisis in the state, says the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).

But ASEAN generally takes a hands-off approach to members' internal affairs.

"We have to be realistic here". "If that's the case, we hope that he will find a way to stop it even before the ASEAN representatives go to Myanmar".

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