Regional leaders order top Myanmar general to end killings and release detainees

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Regional Leaders Order Top Myanmar General To End Killings And Release Detainees
Myanmar’s Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, left, arrives at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Rusman/Indonesian Presidential Palace/AP), © AP/Press Association Images
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By Niniek Karmini, Associated Press

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has said that Southeast Asian leaders have demanded an immediate end to killings and the release of political detainees in Myanmar, in an emergency summit with its top general and coup leader in the Indonesian capital.

The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations also told Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in the talks on Saturday in Jakarta that a dialogue between contending parties in Myanmar should immediately start, Mr Widodo said.

He added that the situation in the troubled Southeast Asian nation is unacceptable.


Myanmar’s Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, far right, and Asean leaders convene during their meeting at the Asean Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia (Laily Rachev/AP)

According to several independent counts, daily shootings by police and soldiers since the February 1 coup have killed more than 700 mostly peaceful protesters and bystanders.

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“Violence must be stopped, democracy, stability and peace in Myanmar must be returned immediately,” Mr Widodo said during the meeting.

“The interests of the people of Myanmar must always be the priority.”


Activists ride their bicycles as they flash a three-finger salute of defiance during a rally called “‘bike for Myanmar” against the military coup in Jakarta, Indonesia (Tatan Syufiana/AP)

It was not immediately clear if and how Min Aung Hlaing responded to the blunt messages.

It was the first time he travelled out of Myanmar since the coup that led to the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and many other political leaders.

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