Democracy Philippines condemns jail sentence for Suu Kyi

Democracy Philippines condemns jail sentence for Suu Kyi

Democracy

Pia Lee Brago – The Philippine Star

January 17, 2022 | 12:00am

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi hit with new convictions, jail term In this file photo taken on July 17, 2019, Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi attends the opening ceremony of the Yangon Innovation Centre in Yangon

STR / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines condemned the sentencing to four years in prison of Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, saying the military regime is using the judicial system to silence political opponents and crush the National League for Democracy.

“I will work with ASEAN colleagues in the next few weeks to find measures to ease the suffering of the people of Myanmar, and push for dialogue among all stakeholders, most especially Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and substantial progress in the Five-Point Consensus of ASEAN,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said in a statement over the weekend.

The Philippines reiterated calls for Myanmar’s military leadership to release all political prisoners, uphold democratic institutions and processes, refrain from violence, and fully respect human rights and the rule of law.

Manila also called on the military leadership to participate in an inclusive dialogue and resume the democratic transition process.

Locsin said the Special Envoy’s participation in the ceasefire talks with the Ethnic Armed Organizations is a welcome development “but these talks must include all, not just a select few.”

“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi must be there, despite her conviction. The armed forces of Myanmar have nothing to fear, and much to gain, from the democracy it introduced to Myanmar by stepping back nor by its restoration by doing so again. Suu Kyi is indispensable in a democratic restoration that will pose no threat of anarchy, dissolution, and civil conflict,” he said.

Locsin said the Special Envoy’s access to all parties concerned must not be subject to any conditionality.

“Most especially, the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus must not be tied to any roadmap, for the Consensus is the only one agreed to by the ASEAN Leaders during that meeting in Jakarta in April 2021,” he said.

The Philippines will also work with Norway, as president of the Security Council for this month, in finding ways to end the killings in Myanmar that have dragged on for a year, far too long for that country’s suffering people.

The court in Myanmar sentenced Suu Kyi to four years in prison last Monday, the second round of verdicts against the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Suu Kyi, 76, was found guilty of illegally importing and possessing walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions.

She was convicted last month on two other charges and given a four-year prison sentence, which was then halved by the head of the military-installed government.

Suu Kyi was Myanmar’s state counselor and de facto leader of the country before she was ousted and detained by the military in a coup 11 months ago.

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