Sefa Karacan / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Myanmar’s military junta, which took power from an elected government in February, said it would release more than 5,600 people jailed for anti-regime activities.
The announcement appears to be a move to appease Myanmar’s neighbors after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, snubbed coup leader Min Aung Hlaing over the weekend in excluding the general from his summit from October 26 to 28. Instead, ASEAN said it would invite a still anonymous non-political representative from Myanmar to attend the summit.
In announcing the release, the junta said in a statement quoted by The Irrawaddy, a news site run by exiles living in neighboring Thailand, that if those released “commit crimes again” they will have to serve their crimes. remaining sentences in addition to any new sentence.
In a televised speech on Monday, Min Aung Hlaing said Myanmar is committed to peace and democracy. The regime has jailed thousands of people who protested the coup against Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest since her government was ousted in February.
ASEAN has proposed a five-point plan to restore democracy to Myanmar, but the group accused Myanmar of not taking it seriously. Min Aung Hlaing said the junta is following its own five-point plan.
Irrawaddy said the regional bloc had expelled the general “for failing to keep promises made to ASEAN to engage in dialogue with junta opponents and to defuse violence in Myanmar.”
Sounding an irritating note, he blamed the banned national unity government and armed ethnic groups for attempting to sabotage the peace, but made no direct mention of the ASEAN decision.
“More violence has occurred due to provocations by terrorist groups,” he said, appearing in civilian clothes rather than military uniform, according to Reuters. “Nobody cares about their violence and only demands that we solve the problem. ASEAN should work on it.”
Myanmar to release 5,600 anti-regime prisoners: NPR
Source link Myanmar to release 5,600 anti-regime prisoners: NPR