“Meetings that exclude the people of Myanmar but include murderer in chief Min Aung Hlaing who is murdering the people of Myanmar are unlikely to be helpful,” the group’s spokesman, Dr. Sasa, who goes by a single name, said in a statement on Friday.
A statement from the Indonesian government announcing General Min Aung Hlaing’s arrival for the summit identified him as the commander in chief of Myanmar’s military, not as the country’s leader.
Many members of the National Unity Government were elected to Parliament in November and would have taken office on the day of the coup. On Thursday, the junta announced that all 24 of the group’s cabinet ministers and deputy ministers had been charged with treason and unlawful association.
Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who before the February coup would have attended a meeting like Saturday’s, is now under house arrest. The prime minister of Malaysia, Muhyiddin Yassin, and the prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, earlier called for her release, as did the Philippine government.
During the summit, Mr. Muhyiddin also urged Myanmar to end the killings and violence and to release all political detainees promptly and unconditionally, news agencies reported.
The United States and the European Union have imposed targeted sanctions on regime leaders and military-owned businesses, but diplomatic efforts to stop the killing have been unsuccessful. The United Nations Security Council, where China and Russia can be counted on to support the Myanmar regime, has taken no action.
The comments by Mr. Joko and Mr. Muhyiddin were unusual for Asean, which has a policy of noninterference in the affairs of member nations. It issued a statement in March calling on “all parties to refrain from instigating further violence,” seemingly ignoring the one-sided nature of the killings.