ASEAN – It was known that Thailand is hosting Track 1.5 on Myanmar issues on June 19 where the foreign minister of Myanmar coup council was invited.
The major member countries of ASEAN such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines have already shown the sign that they won’t attend the dialogue.
Even though the members of ASEAN have agreed not to allow the Myanmar coup council to participate in the important meetings, Thailand had invited the minister of the Myanmar coup council and organised the informal meetings.
Thailand had invited the members of ASEAN countries to hold an informal dialogue with the junta council appointed minister. Myanmar coup council appointed foreign minister Than Swe will attend the meeting.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Thailand has issued a statement saying that the dialogue will be held on June 19. Although the dialogue was not being held within the ASEAN framework, it will help to end the violence in Myanmar.
It was stated in the statement that they are expected to be attended by the high-level representatives of Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, India, China, Brunei and Vietnam. But they didn’t express in the statement that who will attend the meeting.
It’s been almost two years that the coup leader Min Aung Hlaing and the ministers of the coup council have not been executed from the ASEAN summit level and high-level meetings as it refused to deal with the opposition forces, refused to end of violence in Myanmar and didn’t follow “five-point consensus”.
Don Pramudwinai, the foreign minister of Thailand, who is about to retire, have mentioned that “the circumstances have changed greatly. There are more conflicts in Myanmar. We should negotiate with the Myanmar junta regime as they also have a roadmap leading to election.”
Some people speculated that it was an inappropriate meeting as it was not acting on behalf of ASEAN. They concluded that that meeting intend to get legitimate for the coup council.
Indonesia, the alternate chairman of ASEAN, have refused to attend that meeting. It was stated in the statement by the foreign minister of Indonesia, Retno L. P. Marsudi that was corroborated by a source that “in the last meeting of ASEAN, there is no any agreement to negotiate with Myanmar coup council and no agreement to discuss on the solutions to problems in Myanmar.”
Vivian Balakrishnan, the foreign minister of Singapore, mentioned on June 16 that “it was no time to re-engage at the high-level or the minister-level with Myanmar junta.”
Malaysia has also responded that they will not attend that dialogue. It was assumed that Philippines will also not attend the dialogue.
Cambodia, the alternate chairman of ASEAN before Indonesia, announced on June 16 that they will attend the meeting with the lead of the foreign minister Prak Sokhonn.
World power countries China and India, who are not the members of ASEAN, always participate in the informal meetings on Myanmar issues.
The National Unity Government (NUG) has condemned the dialogue held by Thailand.
It was stated in the statement that was issued by NUG on June 17 saying that “Inviting the illegitimate junta to this discussion will not contribute to the restoration of Myanmar’s political crisis.”
The former foreign minister of Malaysia Saifuddin Abdullah wrote on his twitter account that “Thailand is calling ASEAN countries to fully engage with the Myanmar junta leaders in an informal meeting. @ASEAN must stop this nonsense.”
A group of 81 Myanmar activist groups released an open letter saying that that conference is devious and Thailand organised the meeting in direct contravention of the ASEAN agreement.