ASEAN Will Be Forced To Reconsider Peace Plan If Myanmar Executes More Prisoners: Cambodia

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed his deep concern over the recent execution of Opposition activists by military Junta in Myanmar and warned if such activities will be promoted, they will be forced to rethink the role vis-a-vis ASEAN's Five-point consensus. The remarks from Sen came during the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting as foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met at Cambodia's Phnom Penh for the 55th time on Wednesday, August 3. Denouncing the recent decision taken by the junta, Sen pushed Myanmar to adhere to a five-point peace "consensus".

It is to mention that international outrage over Myanmar's execution of four political prisoners intensified with protests around the country. Recently, the four executed activists include Phyo Zeya Thaw, a 41-year-old former lawmaker from Suu Kyi’s party, and Kyaw Min Yu, a 53-year-old democracy activist better known as Ko Jimmy. All were tried, convicted and sentenced by a junta tribunal with no possibility of appeal, AP reported.

"Cambodia as well as all ASEAN Member States, are deeply disappointed and disturbed by the execution of those opposition activists, despite the appeals from me and others for the death sentences to be reconsidered for the sake of political dialogue, peace and reconciliation. If more prisoners are to be executed, we will be forced to rethink our role vis-a-vis ASEAN’s Five-point Consensus," the Cambodian PM said. "The political and security, and now economic and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, one of our own families, has challenged the ASEAN unity, and solidarity and shaken the region’s stability," he added.

According to the Cambodian PM, the ASEAN countries have spent much time and energy and braved so many difficulties and criticism to help Myanmar and its people find some political solutions. "We will continue to do so without placing at risk, in any way, our ASEAN unity. Here I wish to add that even the implementation of the Five-point Consensus has not advanced as everyone wishes, but our efforts have yielded some progress, especially in providing humanitarian aid to those who need the most. However, the current situation has changed dramatically, which can be said to be even worse than the time prior to the Five-point Consensus after the execution of four opposition activists," he stated during his opening remarks.

The military takeover in the country met with massive public protests that resulted in a lethal crackdown by security forces who routinely fire live ammunition into crowds. According to a tally kept by the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 1,887 people have been killed in the protests. Casualties are also rising among the military and police as armed resistance grows in both urban and rural areas.