PHL calls for immediate release of Suu Kyi, a “complete return” to Myanmar’s “previously existing state of affairs”

Protesters gather for a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon on February 22, 2021. (Photo by Ye Aung THU / AFP)

(Eagle News) — The Philippines called for the “immediate release” of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and for a “complete return to the previously existing state of affairs” as protests against the Southeast Asian country’s military coup continued.

The Philippines made the call in a statement after the Informal Association of Southeast Asian Foreign Ministers meeting held to discuss international and regional issues.

According to the Philippines, the “complete return to the previously existing state of affairs” should take place “with respect” to the “preeminent role” of Suu Kyi “alongside the Army her father created for the protection of the people he led to freedom and the country he gave them at the cost of his life.”

The Philippines said a “subsequent dialogue among the parties involved in their country’s destiny” should take place.

“The rest of ASEAN must stand by Myanmar, ready to give what help it is asked by its people and government of Myanmar all the more,” the Philippines said.

It said its appeal was “not from the outside but from inside what we claim is one family: a family first of peoples and not of governments; feeling the hurt in one of its members.”

“We worked hard to give Myanmar the respect due a responsible member of the community of nations moving, in the face of great challenges, towards fuller democracy. This should not stop now,” the Philippines said.

The Myanmar military took over and detained Suu Kyi and several leaders in December 2020, citing what it said was widespread electoral fraud in the election the previous month.

Junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing had said the country would hold new elections, with power given to the winner.

He has, however, given no time frame.