11 July 2024

On the second day of their three-day visit to Myanmar, the ASEAN special envoy and delegates are scheduled to meet with selected stakeholders in Yangon today (Tuesday), according to a highly informed source.

The source said that Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn and ASEAN Secretary General Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi will meet with well-known politician and former political activist, Ko Ko Gyi, Chairman of the People’s Party, at a five-star hotel in Yangon.

Ko Ko Gyi is considered one of Myanmar’s best known political activists who fought against the military regime during the 1988 uprising. Before he turned politician, he was jailed for 17 years. He contested the previous election and was defeated in South Okkalapa Township.

They will also hold discussions with representatives from specialised UN agencies based in Myanmar, such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The ASEAN special envoy and his delegation are also scheduled to visit the warehouse of the Myanmar Red Cross Society, which is currently the principal local organisation distributing humanitarian aid.

Myanmar human rights activist and film director Ko Ko Gyi. (AFP)

In a press statement, released before the visit, the Cambodian chair said the first visit of the special envoy to Myanmar will be aimed at creating favourable conditions, leading to the end of violence, and utmost restraint by all parties, distributing humanitarian assistance and encouraging political consultations and dialogue among all concerned parties.

Since this is the first visit, Prak will not be able to meet with other key stakeholders and jump-start the political dialogue process, as he would have wished.

The ASEAN delegation spent their first day in Nay Pyi Taw, meeting with senior officials of the military regime, including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, and Ko Ko Hlaing, Minister for International Cooperation and Chairman of the Task Force on ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance.

Sokhonn’s delegation comprises Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN, Cambodian Minister of Industry Cham Prasidh, Lee Yam Ming, executive director of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (the AHA Centre) and Kung Phoak, Secretary of State (former deputy secretary general of ASEAN for the social and cultural pillar) and other senior Cambodian officials.

Last April, ASEAN agreed on a five-point consensus, which calls for an immediate ceasefire, a start to political dialogue and access for humanitarian aid, among others.