ASEAN envoy’s aim to bring peace to Myanmar failed

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Despite Foreign Minister Prak Sokhon claiming that he has made some progress about the Myanmar crisis, analysts Say he achieved little tangible benefit during his visit to Myanmar this week on behalf of A special envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Analysts point out that he could not meet with all parties to the conflict that followed the coup and the defeat. Moreover, failure to reach a humanitarian aid agreement undermines his first visit as an ASEAN special envoy because these two points are the critical points of the ASEAN 5 points of unanimous agreement to solve the Myanmar crisis.

“You can consider this visit a waste of time,” said Charlies Santiago, chair of the ASEAN Parliamentary Assembly for Human Rights. “Time because this visit did not achieve anything.”

Cambodia has been criticized for legitimizing the Myanmar regime led by General Min Aung Hlaing after Cambodia became ASEAN chairmanship in 2022 and efforts to push the disputed country on the regional top political agenda By initiating peace talks to bring Myanmar back into the bloc.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen is the first leader to visit Myanmar after last year’s coup. Before the visit, it was condemned by other ASEAN member states. The coup left more than 1,500 dead and barred the junta from participating in the annual ASEAN Summit.

Although Prak Sokhon claimed that he had made some progress on the Myanmar issue after meeting with them, Military leaders, ASEAN diplomats, UN officials, and political activists could not meet with Aung San Suu Kyi. Aung San Suu Kyi is an elected leader who was ousted from power and is in prison.

According to the Associated Press, Prak Sokhon said he had received encouragement from the military government to allow him to meet with the opposition. He was involved in the conflict and told the junta was considering his request to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi.

He described General Min Aung Hlaing’s position as “opening the window to receive sunlight, paving the way for all parties to receive it.” Achieve a future national reconciliation.

But he added that the parties still want to continue fighting instead of negotiating and that humanitarian aid is being stockpiled because it can not be distributed to those in need.

Santiago said the lack of progress on humanitarian aid, which the military wants to control completely, and failure to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi disrupted Prak Sokhon’s visit.

“If you consider the talks with Min Aung Hlaing to progress, I think we have to,” he said. Define the word growth.

“We expected a political dialogue, and General Min Aung Hlaing told him he would consider it,” Santiago said. Request to meet with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi one day. So it will be even more difficult because we can not even reach a discussion on the roadmap to peace. “And reconciliation if we do not get decent in the process.”

Negotiations with Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior politicians in the National League for Democracy and humanitarian aid are vital factors. Mainly in the 5 points of unanimity of ASEAN.

The five-point principle also calls for constructive dialogue among all political parties facilitated by the envoys. ASEAN chairmanship and immediate cessation of violence The ceasefire, which included an agreement reached during Hun Sen’s previous visit, has been violated. Next.

But Carl Shuster, a professor at Hawaii Pacific University, said Prak Sokhon’s visit and response to his request were appropriate. According to ASEAN’s political culture, the biggest hope for Myanmar is that Cambodia and ASEAN can continue to put diplomatic pressure on them in this country.

“They never insulted each other,” Schuster said, referring to Prak Sokhon’s meeting with General Min Aung Hlaing. And their culture is to never say nasty things to each other, despite the bad news. “So when he says there is progress, he wants to say that he helped with General Min Aung Hlaing.”

Schuster also said that Cambodia, under Hun Sen, was a country with limited democracy and a focus on democracy. That must be done for the three interests of the other ASEAN members, which include peace, stability, and economic trade.

“ASEAN must continue to work with Myanmar, but they also face a dilemma: Cambodia does not have a position,” he said. Intense to say to Myanmar that the Myanmar government is not democratic and that Myanmar will suffer. But what Cambodia can do is tell Myanmar what it is doing is undermining peace and stability. “

“ASEAN is doing is just fostering dialogue and the hope that the coup leaders will see,” Schuster said. “Seeing that they continue to walk the path they are currently on is no benefit to them.”

“They’re committing atrocities against their people and, as a result, have only led to resistance,” he said. “Opposition is stronger than ever.”

Prak Sokhon has called for a conference in April or May to discuss aid, and he has rejected any criticism. That his mission has legitimized Myanmar’s military government, he said Cambodia wanted nothing more than to help rebuild peace for Myanmar.

Bradley Murg, a senior researcher at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, said the options available to ASEAN seemed minimal.

“Optimism now concerns Cambodia and ASEAN as a whole in achieving change,” he said. “Importantly, in the current situation in Myanmar, there are false expectations.”

Mr. Murg added: “Mr. Sokhon’s visit shows Cambodia’s difficulties in the ASEAN chairmanship because “Myanmar continues to show that they are still involved in the process, but not in a significant way.”


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