Myanmar’s junta chief said on Monday that the ruling military was committed to peace and democracy, and that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should consider the incitement and violence being perpetrated by its opponents.

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In his first remarks since Myanmar’s neighbors decided to exclude them from the upcoming ASEAN summit due to a lack of commitment to their five-point roadmap, Min Aung Hlaing called for his five-point junta to restore democracy. Repeated phase plan.

Min Aung Huling, who led the February 1 coup that plunged Myanmar into deadly chaos, made no mention of ASEAN’s decision, but suggested that the outlawed National Unity Government (NUG) and the armed ethnic group ASEAN’s leadership They were trying to sabotage the peace process. .

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“Provocations by terrorist groups led to more violence,” Min Aung Huling said in a televised speech, where he appeared in civilian attire. “No one cares about their violence, and is only demanding that we resolve the issue. ASEAN should work on that.”

ASEAN decided to invite a non-political representative from Myanmar to its 26-28 October summit, in an unprecedented blow to the military leaders behind the coup against the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Min Aung Hlaing said Myanmar wanted ASEAN’s special envoy, Eriwan Yousuf, to visit the country as agreed, but some of his demands were non-negotiable. He did not elaborate.

The NUG, a broad coalition of anti-coup groups that includes members of Suu Kyi’s ousted ruling party, has supported the training and formation of militias called “People’s Defense Forces” behind attacks on security forces in several regions of the country.

NUG recently announced a nationwide rebellion against military rule.

The shadow government on Monday welcomed the boycott of ASEAN’s junta leader, but said the NUG should be a legitimate representative.

important step

“Asean except Min Aung Huling is an important step, but we request that they recognize us as an appropriate representative,” said its spokesman, Dr Sasa.

However, he added that the NUG would accept inviting a truly neutral alternative Myanmar representative.

The ASEAN decision was an unusually bold move for the consensus-driven bloc, which traditionally favors a policy of engagement and non-intervention.

Brunei, the current president of ASEAN, issued a statement https://reut.rs/3n0roOZ citing the lack of progress on a roadmap that the junta had agreed with ASEAN in April.

A spokesman for the military government over the weekend blamed “foreign interference” for the decision.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the coup, which ended a decade of temporary democracy and economic reform. Thousands of her opponents, including Suu Kyi, have been arrested.

According to activists and the United Nations, security forces have killed more than 1,100 people.

Minutes after Min Aung Hlaing’s speech, state television announced that more than 5,600 people arrested or subject to arrest warrants for their roles in anti-coup protests would be freed in an amnesty.

It said the decision was on humanitarian grounds, and blamed the shadow government for creating the unrest.

(Reporting by Reuters Staff; Writing by Kay Johnson and Martin Petty; Editing by Gerry Doyle)