Change of guard: Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (right) receives the gavel from Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen as the ASEAN chairmanship is passed to Indonesia at the closing ceremony of the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits in Phnom Penh on Nov. 13, 2022.(AFP/Nhac Nguyen)
January 24, 2023
Fighting has flared in recent days between Myanmar junta forces and rebels opposed to their rule, officials and locals said Tuesday, with reports that large numbers of civilians have fled the violence.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since Aung San Suu Kyi’s civilian government was toppled in an army coup almost two years ago.
Long-established ethnic rebel groups, as well as dozens of “People’s Defence Forces” (PDF), have emerged in opposition and clash frequently with the military.
The last few days have seen intense clashes in southeast Karen state, around Kyonedoe and the border town of Payathonzu.
“There were drone attacks by local PDFs at a military command near Kyonedoe town a few days ago,” a military source told AFP. — AFP
Indonesia can help repair ASEAN’s authoritarian drift
Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year offers an opportunity to move beyond the sterile process of running down the clock witnessed under Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in 2022.
ASEAN failed to achieve anything in regard to the illegitimate military junta in Myanmar last year as Hun Sen simply waited to hand the problem over to someone else.
Hun Sen and his representatives failed to meet with National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi or any representative of the National Unity Government (NUG), which represents the will of the vast majority of Myanmar’s people.
Hun Sen looked on in passive acquiescence as Suu Kyi was sentenced to 33 years in prison, including three years of hard labor.
The ASEAN doctrine of noninterference to which Hun Sen enthusiastically subscribes makes such monstrous behavior by Myanmar’s junta possible.
The Jakarta Post
Wed, January 25 2023