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Malaysia claims that Myanmar's executions "mock" the ASEAN peace strategy

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - Malaysia on Tuesday denounced the Myanmar regime for killing four pro-democracy activists, calling the in...


Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - Malaysia on Tuesday denounced the Myanmar regime for killing four pro-democracy activists, calling the incident a crime against humanity that appeared to "mock" a peace initiative spearheaded by Southeast Asia.

The military, which overthrew the government of Myanmar last year, confirmed the executions, accusing the activists of supporting "terrorist acts" carried out by a movement of civilian resistance.

Saifuddin Abdullah, the foreign minister of Malaysia, also questioned the executions' timing, which came one week before an ASEAN gathering (ASEAN).

The 10-member group has been pressuring Myanmar to follow a five-point peace plan it committed to last year. The 10-member group has also denounced the executions.

At a press conference, Saifuddin said, "We looked at (the executions) as though the junta is making a mockery of the five-point consensus. I think we really have to look at this very, very carefully.

He expanded Malaysia's earlier call for junta officials to be banned from ASEAN summits until progress was achieved on the peace plan by saying that Myanmar should not be permitted to send political representatives to any international ministerial level gatherings.

Saifuddin said, adding that Malaysia would aim to give a framework for the implementation of the peace plan at the ASEAN meeting, "We hope we have seen the last of the executions and we will try to use any channel that we can to try and ensure that this will not happen again."

He added that ASEAN should strive to work with Myanmar's National Unity Government (NUG) and National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), a shadow government that the military regime has outlawed.

The military junta in Myanmar has repeatedly urged foreign nations to avoid cooperating with the NUG, which is made up of ex-administrators and other "terrorist" military rivals.

In the NUG's first open contact with a Southeast Asian nation, Saifuddin and his NUG counterpart met in May on the sidelines of a summit in the United States.

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