International Asia Vivian Balakrishnan: Situation in Myanmar 'an unfolding tragedy'

Vivian Balakrishnan: Situation in Myanmar ‘an unfolding tragedy’

'It is going to take some time to resolve'

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

Singapore—Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan called the crisis in Myanmar “an unfolding tragedy” in remarks to the press on Mar 26 after he met with Indonesian leaders in Jakarta. 

“It’s not a happy topic. It’s a tragedy that is unfolding,” he said.

He also expressed the belief that the crisis will not ease any time soon. 

According to the transcript of his remarks, which was released on Monday (Mar 29), Dr Balakrishnan said, ”It is going to take quite some time to resolve. I must confess to you that I am pessimistic.”

Furthermore, he underlined the importance of Southeast Asian countries having a position for their response to the situation.

- Advertisement -

Last week, the Foreign Affairs Minister visited Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, which is the current chair of Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

So far, Asean has yet to come to an agreement on how to respond to the crackdown, with Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines urging a high-level meeting on the crisis.

The call for a meeting has been supported by Singapore.

Dr Balakrisnan told the press, “It is essential for Asean’s credibility, centrality, and relevance to have a view, have a position and to be able to offer some constructive assistance to Myanmar. But do not expect quick solutions.”

He underlined that it is key for Asean “to consider, to contemplate, to support and to be a constructive presence inside Myanmar.” He hoped that Myanmar would seriously consider recommendations from Asean leaders, even while he said that neither Singapore nor Indonesia believes in foreign interference in domestic politics.

The Foreign Affairs Minister told the press that he and Indonesian President Joko Widodo discussed the crisis in Myanmar, as well as opportunities in the green economy, at the meeting last Friday at the presidential palace in Jakarta.

The death toll in the violence in Myanmar has surpassed 500 as of Tuesday morning (Mar 30), according to a local monitoring group. 

Different nations have expressed condemnation over the growing number of fatalities from the clashes due to the junta’s brutal crackdown on the growing protest. France condemned the ‘blind and deadly’ violence in Myanmar.

The United States announced that it was suspending a trade pact with Myanmar on Monday, after a weekend of bloody clashes.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said, “The United States strongly condemns the Burmese security forces’ brutal violence against civilians.” 

Until democracy is restored in Myanmar, the 2013 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement between the two countries will remain suspended.

/TISG

Read also: Anti-coup protests continue in Myanmar as UN urged to hear ‘pleas

Anti-coup protests continue in Myanmar as UN urged to hear ‘pleas’

Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Roy Ngerng hits crowdfund target of $144k after 9 days, thanks all who have contributed

Singapore — Singaporean blogger Roy Ngerng has raised money even faster than fellow blogger Leong Sze Hian, like whom he has to pay damages to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Mr Leong's crowdfunding campaign raised S$133,000 in 11 days. Mr Ngerng, also crowdfunding,...

Pritam Singh praises his wife on her birthday for teaching Punjabi to children

Singapore — Workers' Party secretary-general Pritam Singh took to social media on Friday (Apr 16) to pay tribute to the special woman in his life. "Happy Birthday dear wife!," he wrote on Instagram "Just thought that the best way I can wish...

Upper Serangoon condo residents losing sleep over 4 fridge-related fires in 2 months 

Singapore—There have been seven fridge-related fires at Riversails Condominium in the past three years, causing much alarm to its residents. Four of the incidents occurred just in the last two months -- the latest in a sixth-floor unit where a fridge caught...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent