Informal discussion: MOFA Union Minister attended informal discussion

23 June 2023
2023-06-23 10:39

At the invitation of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, Mr Don Pramudwinai, U Than Swe, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, attended an informal discussion on Myanmar, held on 18-19 June 2023 in Pattaya, Thailand, along with the Foreign Ministers, Special Envoy, Ambassadors and representatives from ASEAN Member States: Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines and neighbouring countries: China and India.

The Union Minister expressed his appreciation to friends of Myanmar for organizing an informal discussion on Myanmar while welcoming suggestions to overcome challenges faced by Myanmar. At a time when correct information on Myanmar was blocked and one-sided news was spread by biased media, progress was analyzed making reference to the ASEAN five-point consensus, he briefed the meeting on the development in Myanmar, particularly the implementation of three main tasks of the ASEAN five-point consensus; namely the cessation of violence, inclusive political dialogue and provision of humanitarian assistance as these tasks complement Myanmar’s Five-Point Road Map.

The Union Minister elaborated on peace efforts by undertaking all necessary measures for the cessation of violence. A total of 106 rounds of peace talks were held under the current government. As of now, peace talks are organized more than 5,000 times. Important agreements were reached particularly for the building of a Federal Union through a multiparty democratic system as well as for sharing of power and resources. The Union Minister explained that some EAOs takes advantage of the political instabilities in the past two years by training and equipping vulnerable and emotional youth in the post-COVID-19 period as the PDFs even in the areas where stability was enjoyed for the past five decades.

They do attack security forces but they aim at soft targets by killing and bullying unarmed people, members of opposition parties, public services personnel and veterans and destroying public properties. Those armed groups emerged only after the announcement of the ASEAN five-point consensus. So-called NUG ministers order PDFs for terror activities against those who do not follow the instruction for school and office closure by supporting arms and ammunition to PDFs.

To date, 5,846 innocent lives were claimed by PDFs including 187 young children, 77 teachers, 69 members of the Sangha, 807 village and ward administrators and 148 other public services personnel, 17 medical service personnel, members of opposition parties, veterans. Such kind of brutal acts are not acceptable in any civilized society.

Being responsible to protect its people, the government has to counter the attacks by PDFs. On the humanitarian front, the Union Minister underlined that the government will continue facilitating the works of the AHA centre. With regard to the repatriation of displaced persons in Rakhine state, the government has been expediting the early implementation of the pilot project.

Although there are some delays in the commencement of the repatriation process as some potential returnees were threatened by some groups on the other side, Government will continue its efforts in cooperation with all relevant parties. As the government has to address the issue of one-sided media attempting to destroy the country’s image while blocking the true information in Myanmar, Union Minister called for greater cooperation from friends of Myanmar.

Only through communication and engagement at all levels in ASEAN, ASEAN Member States can effectively support Myanmar to overcome challenging situations through proper analysis and judgement. He highlighted that all enabling environments, such as granting amnesty and allowing party registration, are in place, anyone with a sincere will to bring about benefits to the people can seek peaceful solutions by participating in political processes while denouncing terrorist activities.

The Union Minister concluded by expressing the government’s readiness to cooperate with all countries who can understand the real situation in the country as opposed to the wrong image portrayed by some biased media and disinformation campaigns.

Participants at the informal meetings expressed their adherence to non-interference in the internal affairs of Myanmar and their readiness to support Myanmar for peace, stability and inclusive political dialogues. They expressed their willingness to avoid the ASEAN-minus formula looking forward to strengthened cooperation with Myanmar.

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