| 24 October 2021, Sunday |

Myanmar military won’t allow ASEAN envoy to meet Suu Kyi

Myanmar’s ruling military has not barred a special Southeast Asian envoy from visiting the nation, but he will not be allowed to meet incarcerated former leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is facing criminal charges, according to a junta spokesman.

The United Nations’ delay in approving the military government’s U.N. ambassador nominee was politically driven, according to spokesperson Zaw Min Tun, who added that the United Nations and other countries and organizations “should avoid double standards when engaging in international affairs.”

The spokesman’s remarks, issued by the military in a summary dated Wednesday, come as international pressure builds on the junta to implement a five-point peace plan its top general Min Aung Hlaing agreed to in April with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Myanmar has been in political and economic paralysis since the military’s Feb. 1 coup, which triggered an outpouring of anger and protest that has not abated, with some civilians forming militias to take on the powerful army.

According to Erywan Yusof, the bloc’s special envoy, the junta’s delay on the ASEAN proposal was “tantamount to retreating,” and some member nations were “deep in negotiations” about removing Min Aung Hlaing from a meeting this month.

Erywan said earlier this week that he is in talks with Myanmarese groups, that he does not take sides or political positions, and that he is looking forward to a visit.

The junta spokesman also claimed that Myanmar’s court system was fair and independent, and that Aung San Suu Kyi’s case will be handled appropriately, despite the fact that the chief justice was selected by the previous government.