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PM Does Not See How Myanmar Can Have Peace if International Community Does Not Change Position

KRATIE: Prime Minister Hun Sen delivered a speech at the inauguration ceremony of seven new bridges in Kratie province on Wednesday morning, where he shared remarks on the ongoing crisis in Myanmar. He said that just as how a deadlock cannot be resolved in a day or two, the situation in Myanmar will also take a long time to address. He added that in order to find a solution, ASEAN and the international community must change its current position.

Prime Minister Hun Sen remarked that Cambodia only has 10 months left of the ASEAN Chairmanship, and if the issue surrounding the conflict in Myanmar is not resolved, it will be passed on to the next ASEAN Chair in 2023. He said that the current stalemate between ASEAN nations on the matter of Myanmar is due to a too strict adherence to policy.

To illustrate this matter, Prime Minister Hun Sen shared an idiom, saying “It is not possible to put a cow in front of the yoke of a cart. Obviously, a solution that puts the cow in front of the cart is really impossible. I want to let my friends in ASEAN solve it, I also do not want to comment, but I also have some experience in solving it (conflict). [The approach should be] not too hard, not too soft, we need to find a middle ground to solve this."

He further stressed that if such strict measures are maintained, the war in Myanmar will continue indefinitely without seeing peace. He said, “Let's see if this continues. I say this on behalf of Cambodia, not as the ASEAN chair, please do not associate my comments with the ASEAN chairmanship, but the vision of Techo Hun Sen is clear if it continues like this! In another 5 to 10 years, we may not see the light of peace in Myanmar!”

Prime Minister Hun Sen, visited Myanmar on 7-8 January to help find a solution to the ongoing conflict and bring the country back to ASEAN. In a meeting with the Prim Minister, Myanmar's military leader, Min Aung Hlaing pledged to extend the ceasefire until the end of 2022, as well as to facilitate the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair to meet with all stakeholders involved in the conflict, including ethnic armed groups. He also promised to consider releasing detained Australian professor, Sean Turnell.

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Myanmar received both a positive and negative response. The Prime Minister himself has said that the reason he wanted to help the country was just to see peace in Myanmar, and not to benefit from this in any way. He added that those who curse him and the Special Envoy about Myanmar only further push the country into war.

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