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Exclusion of Myanmar’s Military Junta

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October 30, 2021

What is the issue?

ASEAN has decided to exclude Myanmar’s military junta from its annual summit which is a major setback for the Generals’ attempt to gain regional legitimacy for their brutal regime.

Why did the coup occur?

  • The Military had a tight grip on Myanmar as the constitution guarantees it a quarter of all seats in parliament and control of its most powerful ministries.
  • In the last November's general election, military-backed party- USDP-performed poorly whereas the NLD did even better than in 2015.
  • This created tensions between the armed forces and the government.
  • The opposition raised allegations of widespread fraud in the election which was not backed by the electoral commission.
  • Later, Myanmar's military seized power after detaining Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratically elected leaders.


What was the followup of the power siege?

  • The junta has unleashed a reign of terror claiming an estimated 1,000 lives.
  • Ms. Suu Kyi who had been the State Councillor for five years from 2015 heading the quasi-democratic government has been in detention.
  • Thousands of others were arrested by the military for their democratic protests.
  • In cities, protests turned into armed fighting between pro-democracy protesters and security personnel, while in the jungles, anti-junta groups joined hands with rebels for military training.
  • The situation was so grave that the UN Special Envoy warned that Myanmar had descended into a civil war.
  • Recently, Myanmar's military sentenced a close aide of ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to 20 years in prison.

What has been the international reaction to the coup?

  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused the security forces of a "reign of terror".
  • The US, UK and European Union have all responded with sanctions on military officials.
  • South East Asian countries have been pursuing diplomatic efforts to end the crisis.
  • China blocked a UNSC statement condemning the coup, but has backed calls for the release of Ms Suu Kyi and a return to democratic norms.

What led to the exclusion of the junta by ASEAN?

  • In April, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing was invited to Jakarta for emergency talks with ASEAN members which led to the ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus.
  • The Consensus that includes immediately ending violence, starting the reconciliation process and allowing a regional special envoy to meet all stakeholders has not been met by the military regime.
  • There have been reports of the junta torturing political prisoners.
  • Regime violence, political crises and strikes and counter-attacks by protesters have all led to the exclusion of Myanmar.
  • According to the UN, around 3 million people are in need of life-saving assistance because of conflict, food insecurity, natural disasters and COVID-19.
  • The international community should continue to put pressure on the junta and urgently start a reconciliation process.



  1. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/descent-into-chaos/article37244869.ece
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55902070


Quick facts


  • Myanmar, also known as Burma is in South East Asia.
  •  It neighbours Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, China and India.
  • The main religion is Buddhism.
  • The biggest city is Yangon (Rangoon), but the capital is Nay Pyi Taw.
  • There are many ethnic groups in the country, including Rohingya Muslims.


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