Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation kicked off the Track Two Observer Discussion Forum Series last May 21 with a webinar with the theme, “ASEAN and the Myanmar Coup,” focusing on February Coup that occurred in Myanmar that placed the State Administration Council military junta in power and the aftermath of the ASEAN Special Summit on Myanmar convened in Jakarta in April 2021.
The Track Two Observer Discussion Forum Series is a project organized in partnership with the Philippine Office of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung since 2020 to facilitate discussions on security and foreign policy issues with the Philippines’ growing community of researchers and analysts despite the limitations of the pandemic.
Dr. Meidi Kosandi from the Department of Political Science of Universitas Indonesia gave a background on what had happened in the lead-up to the ASEAN Special Summit in Myanmar, the major players, and the Five-Point Consensus. Dr. Alistair Cook, a Senior Fellow from the Rajaratnam School of International Studies elaborated on the domestic situation in Myanmar, highlighting the major players and their reaction to ASEAN’s initiatives, and the importance of the yet to be filled office of the ASEAN Envoy.
Dr. Naruemon Thabchumpon highlighted the refugee situation along the Thai-Myanmar border, the politics along Myanmar’s border states, and the seeming brotherhood between the Myanmar and Thai militaries, which are both dominant political actors in their respective governments. Mr. Hunter Marston from the Australian National University focused on reactions to the coup, ASEAN’s initiative in responding to the crisis, and possible support to the initiatives and the Five-Point Consensus. Lastly, Dr. Chiew-Ping Hoo from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia talked about how ASEAN norms and practices have played out during ASEAN’s handling of the crisis, and how these can affect future prospects and developments in Myanmar and the region.