Jakarta ● Fri, August 5 2022
Suspending Myanmar's ASEAN membership, as suggested by Kornelius Purba in his article in The Jakarta Post on July 29, should be an option that is taken seriously. Myanmar's domestic situation has deteriorated further with the junta's execution of former legislator Phyo Zeyar Thaw, activist Kyaw Min Yu and two protesters Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw.
The executions show that the junta is trying to act as an official symbol of a Myanmar state, but it certainly has no authority over the Myanmar people as a whole.
Effective authority lies in an equilibrium between coercive measures and persuasion. When the balance skews too far to the coercive side, we can no longer say that authority is effectively present. The Myanmar military over the past decades has always had a tendency to resort to violence to exert control over the multiethnic people of the country, including in the alleged genocide against the Muslim Rohingya in 2017. This most recent case cannot be tolerated by the ASEAN community.
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