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Indonesia dismisses report on action plan to help Myanmar military uphold promise of fresh polls

Channel News Asia - February 23, 2021

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – Indonesia has dismissed a recent report suggesting that an action plan is being prepared to help the Myanmar military to uphold its promise of holding a new election.

Foreign ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told reporters on Tuesday (Feb 23) that Indonesia "has neither published nor formulated any action plan" on the situation in Myanmar. He also denied that Indonesia is pushing for a new election to be held in Myanmar.

"Indonesia since early on had called for all parties to find an amicable solution and an inclusive democratic process. We are also calling for a special meeting of ASEAN's (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) foreign ministers to urge all sides in Myanmar to resolve this dispute through democratic channels. Our position has not changed," Mr Faizasyah said.

The spokesman was referring to a Reuters report published on Monday, quoting officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The report said that Indonesia is pushing Southeast Asian neighbours to agree to an action plan to prevent bloodshed in Myanmar and help the military to honour its commitment to hold a new election and hand power to the winner. The Indonesian plan also calls for ASEAN to facilitate dialogue between the junta and protesters, said the report.

"The action plan stated in a Reuters article is false," Mr Faizasyah said on Tuesday. "We have not formulated any action plan."

Mr Faizasyah said Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi is still collecting views and ideas from her ASEAN counterparts in preparation for the special meeting.

"We are still in our consultation phase," the spokesman said, adding that Mdm Marsudi has been touring the region to meet with her counterparts. She is scheduled to meet Thai foreign minister Don Pramudwinai.

Mr Faizasyah's remarks came just hours after a group of protesters descended on the Indonesian embassy in Myanmar's biggest city Yangon on Tuesday, rejecting the action plan mentioned in the Reuters report.

Protesters have rejected the junta's promise of a new election, insisting that it should recognise the one held last year.

The military staged a coup on Feb 1 after the electoral commission rejected its accusations of fraud in the November polls. The junta has promised a new election, but without setting a precise timetable.

The coup has prompted daily mass protests for nearly three weeks and strikes by many government workers. (CNA/ni)

Source: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/indonesia-myanmar-action-plan-dismiss-report-junta-elections-1426265