11 July 2024

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, the current ASEAN chair, has asked Myanmar’s junta to reconsider the death sentences imposed on individuals opposed to them, according to his letter of June 10th, addressed to Senior Gen Min Aung Hlaing.

The two-page letter, seen by Thai PBS World, reads that Cambodia believes that the planned executions, if carried out, will trigger a very strong and widespread negative reaction from the international community.

“This will also have a devastating effect on ASEAN and Cambodia’s efforts to support Myanmar in a return to normality and to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis,” the letter continued.

The junta announced last week that it will execute four activists, despite appeals from around the world urging them stay the sentences. If the executions are carried out, they would be the first since 1990.

Hun Sen, who has met the junta’s chief on several occasions, warned that the Southeast Asian bloc is currently at the heart of major powers’ geo-strategies, while competition and rivalries among them escalate. “In the light of this development, a lot of attention is now focused on developments in ASEAN and its credibility and effectiveness as a people-centred regional family. The development in Myanmar is under the spotlight and is being closely observed by people around the globe.

The letter expressed “deep concern” and a sincere desire to help Myanmar achieve peace and national reconciliation. “I would earnestly like to request that you and the State Administrative Council reconsider the sentences and refrain from carrying out the executions of those anti-SAC individuals,” he wrote.

Special ASEAN envoy Prak Sokhonn is scheduled to visit Myanmar for the second time on June 29th. He will discuss the implementation of the five-point consensus, agreed by ASEAN last April.