Cambodia Leader’s Visit to Myanmar Sparks Protests

Cambodia Leader’s Visit to Myanmar Sparks Protests

Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen has landed in Myanmar ahead of a meeting with coup leader Min Aung Hlaing amid protests in Myanmar and criticism from civil rights groups over the trip.

Hun Sen, who has all but wiped out political opposition in Cambodia, arrived in Naypyidaw and was pictured being greeted by the military’s foreign minister Wunna Maung.

He later walked down a red carpet flanked on either side by an honour guard of soldiers dressed in pale blue tunics and white trousers.

The Myanmar military seized power on February 1 last year, on the morning the country’s newly elected parliament had been supposed to convene, arresting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her government.

Cambodia is the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which last year refused to allow Min Aung Hlaing to attend the group’s annual summit because of his failure to make progress on an April consensus to promote dialogue and end violence.

According to Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Research Emerlynne Gil, “Hun Sen’s rogue diplomacy could do more harm than good.

“If Hun Sen truly wants to help, he should cancel this trip and lead ASEAN to strong action to address the country’s dire human rights situation rather than indulge in empty gestures that will likely result in little more than a self-congratulatory photo op,” she said.

Nearly 1,500 people have been killed since the coup and nearly 11,500 arrested, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which has been monitoring the situation.

READ ALSO: Myanmar court defers verdicts in Suu Kyi trial to Jan.

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Kamila/Al-Jazeera
 
Cambodia Leader’s Visit to Myanmar Sparks Protests

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