Not even Superman can solve Myanmar crisis
A regional envoy tasked with brokering peace in Myanmar yesterday admitted that "even Superman cannot solve" the crisis, capping a week of foreign ministerial meetings that ultimately yielded little progress.
Myanmar has spiralled into civil war since a putsch in February last year, with the death toll from the military's brutal crackdown on dissent passing 2,100, according to a local monitoring group.
The 10-country Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) has spearheaded so far fruitless efforts to resolve the turmoil, and acknowledged in a joint statement on Friday the lack of progress around a five-point crisis resolution plan.
Asean special envoy Prak Sokhonn, who has made two trips to Myanmar since the coup, dampened expectations for major progress in the short term.
"I am just a special envoy, I am not a superman," he told reporters in Phnom Penh Saturday. "I think that even Superman cannot solve the Myanmar problem."
Anger is growing within Asean over Myanmar generals' stonewalling of the peace plan, particularly after the execution last month of four prisoners -- including two prominent pro-democracy figures.
The plan, agreed in April last year, calls for an immediate end to violence and dialogue between the military and the anti-coup movement.
"Negotiation takes years, like the issue in Myanmar. After two visits of the special envoy, two visits only, some people start to lose patience and ask for results," said Prak Sokhonn, who is also Cambodia's foreign minister.
He flagged a possible third trip to Myanmar in early September -- contingent upon progress on the five-point plan.
"Especially if -- and I say it clearly, publicly -- if more executions are conducted, then things would have to be reconsidered," he said.
His remarks built on Friday's joint statement, which emphasised the need for some concrete action from the junta ahead of the Asean leaders' summit in November.