Asean leaders to meet over Myanmar crisis, say Malaysia and Brunei

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Brunei said yesterday they have agreed for the leaders of Asean countries to meet to discuss developments in Myanmar.

In a joint statement, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said they have asked their ministers and senior officials to undertake "necessary preparations for the meeting", to be held at the Asean Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Brunei is the chair of the 10-member Asean this year.

The statement followed a meeting between both leaders in Brunei yesterday.

They did not say when the meeting would be held.

Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore have all expressed alarm over the killings of demonstrators and support an urgent high-level meeting on Myanmar.

Myanmar has been in crisis since a Feb 1 military coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Activists say at least 557 people have since been killed in a crackdown by security forces.

Meanwhile, protesters around Myanmar clapped together yesterday in the latest show of dissent against the military junta.

Clapping began in various parts of Yangon at 5pm local time, in response to a call by protest organisers.

The gesture would honour "Ethnic Armed Organisations and Gen Z defence youths from Myanmar including Yangon who are fighting in the revolution... on behalf of us", protest leader Ei Thinzar Maung wrote on Facebook. - REUTERS