Min Aung Hlaing will attend a summit attended by leaders of Southeast Asian countries in Indonesia next week.
Thailand has announced that the head of Myanmar’s military government, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, will attend an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Indonesia next week – his first trip to the foreigner known since he took power in a coup on February 1.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military ousted an elected government headed by civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Security forces killed 728 pro-democracy protesters, according to an activist group, in an attempt to crush nationwide anti-coup protests.
In the latest violence, security forces shot and killed two protesters in the ruby mining town of Mogok, a resident told Reuters news agency, while several small bombs exploded in the larger city of Yangon. , injuring several people, media reported.
Myanmar’s neighbors have tried to encourage talks between the military rulers and the ousted government, but the military has shown little willingness to engage.
Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat said on Saturday that several leaders from the 10 ASEAN countries, including Min Aung Hlaing, had confirmed that they would attend the April 24 meeting in Jakarta.
Meanwhile, the military government published 23,184 prisoners in prisons across the country on Saturday as part of a New Year’s amnesty, the prison department said, although few, if any, of the democracy activists arrested since the coup were among them.
Saturday is the first day of the New Year in Myanmar and the last day of a five-day holiday typically marked by visits to Buddhist temples and loud water jets and street parties.
Aung San Suu Kyi is among 3,141 people arrested in connection with the coup, according to a count by the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP). The Nobel Peace Prize laureate faces various charges, including violating an official secrets law, which could sentence her to 14 years in prison. His lawyers dismiss the charges.
“Most of these (released) detainees date from before February 1, but there are also some who were imprisoned afterwards,” Prisons Department spokesman Kyaw Tun Oo said. He said he did not have details of the offenses for which they had been jailed.
Among those released were 137 foreigners, who would be deported, state television said. He gave no details.
The AAPP said the military was continuing to search for 832 people in connection with the protests. Among them, more than 200 people, including several actors, singers and internet celebrities, who spoke out against the coup and are wanted for promoting dissent in the armed forces, which can lead to a sentence of three years in prison.
State media on Saturday announced the names of 40 other wanted people, including 20 doctors.
The February 1 coup sparked a massive uprising, bringing hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets to demand a return to democracy, as officials boycotted labor in an attempt to shut down the government administration military.
The military takeover also sparked clashes between the army and armed groups belonging to ethnic minorities in the north and east of the country.
The military defended its coup by alleging that the November election result was fraudulent, although the election commission dismissed the objections.
The international community has widely condemned the generals for using force against unarmed civilians – imposing targeted sanctions against senior military officers, their families and military-related companies.