Asean foreign ministers held talks with a representative of the junta in a video call two days after the bloodiest day of unrest. At least 21 people have been killed since the coup, which Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong said was a “tragic” step back for Myanmar. The foreign minister of Indonesia urged Myanmar to “open its doors” to the Asean bloc to resolve the escalating tension. The foreign ministers of Malaysia and the Philippines also called for the release of Suu Kyi. But some countries were less emphatic and a statement from the group said “all parties” should refrain from instigating violence.
The bloc’s effort to engage with Myanmar’s military has been criticised by supporters of democracy, with a committee of ousted Myanmar lawmakers declaring the junta a terrorist group and saying Asean’s engagement would give it legitimacy. Sa Sa, the committee’s anointed envoy to the UN, said Asean should have no dealings with “this illegitimate military-led regime”