Conflicts & War

Indonesia urges return to democracy in Myanmar as at least 5 killed

Jakarta/Yangon, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- Indonesia’s president on Friday urged democracy to be restored in Myanmar and called for an urgent high-level meeting of Southeast Asian countries to address the political crisis, as at least five people were killed in a security forces crackdown in Shan state.

In a brief video posted on YouTube, Joko Widodo said that Indonesia “urged for dialog and reconciliation to be carried out immediately to restore democracy, to restore peace and to restore stability in Myanmar.”

“Indonesia urges that the use of violence in Myanmar be stopped immediately so that there are no more victims. The safety and welfare of the people must be the top priority,” he added.

“I will immediately call the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam as head of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) to as soon as possible hold a high-level ASEAN meeting to discuss the crisis in Myanmar,” he said in the virtual address.

Indonesia has been the most active ASEAN country in seeking a solution to the crisis in Myanmar, with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi meeting ASEAN counterparts, as well as Wunna Maung Lwi, appointed by the military junta as Myanmar’s as foreign minister, on Feb. 24.

In Myanmar’s southern Shan state town of Aungban Friday, at least five people were killed in a crackdown by security forces, witnesses told Efe. Several were injured and others arrested.

At least 224 people have died amid lethal violence by authorities during peaceful anti-coup protests across the country, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

While the protests continue, internet is now severely restricted in the country and the influx of live information posted to social media by citizens in recent weeks has dropped off.

“Mobile data remains disabled for a 5th day while public wifi is also now limited,” said internet monitor Netblocks on Friday.

Protesters demand that the military restore democracy, recognize the results of the November election and release all those detained, including ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The military has justified taking power on grounds of alleged electoral fraud in November’s elections, in which international observers did not detect any wrongdoing, and which resulted in a landslide victory for Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy. EFE-EPA

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