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Myanmar junta rebuked by ASEAN

Suu Kyi testifies for first time in junta court

Published : Wednesday, 27 October, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 440

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Oct 26: Southeast Asian leaders sharply criticised Myanmar's junta as a regional summit opened on Tuesday without a representative from the country, following its top general's exclusion for ignoring a peace roadmap agreed six    months ago.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had said it would accept a non-political figure from Myanmar, but the junta on Monday rejected that, saying it would only agree to its leader or a minister attending.
In an unprecedented snub to the leader of a member state, ASEAN had decided to sideline junta chief Min Aung Hlaing, who led a Feb. 1 coup that spiralled into violence and nationwide chaos, for his failure to cease hostilities, allow humanitarian access and start dialogue with opponents, as agreed with ASEAN in April.
A top US official has held a virtual meeting with two representatives of Myanmar's National Unity Government (NUG), an administration set up by opponents of the February 1 military coup that plunged the country into chaos. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met Duwa Lashi La and Zin Mar Aung from the NUG in a virtual meeting on Monday, the White House said in a statement.
Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi testified for the first time in a junta court on Tuesday, four months after being put on trial by the military that toppled her government, a source with knowledge of the case told AFP.
She "gave her statement at the court by herself" in response to charges of incitement related to two February statements criticising the coup, the source said. The contents of her testimony on Tuesday "cannot be revealed" until the court has certified them, the source said, adding this was expected next week.  Media have been barred from attending Suu Kyi's trial at the special court in the military-built capital Naypyidaw and the junta recently banned her legal team from speaking to the media.    -REUTERS, AFP

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