ASEAN Military Operations meetings to continue

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Military Operations Meeting will continue virtual talks today amidst civil unrest in Myanmar.

Photo: Reuters

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Military Operations Meeting will continue virtual talks today amidst civil unrest in Myanmar.

Myanmar’s armed forces, the Tatmadaw, have attracted international condemnation after their heavy crackdown on demonstrators protesting the February 1 military coup d’etat. Today’s meeting will focus on determining the treatment of the military junta. During ASEAN’s previous virtual meeting held on March 2, the union called for an end to the brutality in Myanmar. However, no collective action against Myanmar was undertaken.

The human rights violations in Myanmar will not likely end in the near future. Although the Tatmadaw’s violence has attracted criticism from ASEAN members such as Indonesia, a mutual agreement with regards to military sanctions or economic blockade seems unlikely. A prominent member of ASEAN, Myanmar stands as a major exporter in the region. Member states like Thailand, an importer of Myanmar’s mineral fuels, will likely refrain from imposing economic penalties on the Tatmadaw. Indeed, ASEAN members may even make concessions to the military junta in hopes of preventing further hostilities against civilians, perhaps by offering the military government increased decision-making power within the bloc.

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