Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn, in his capacity as the ASEAN chair’s special envoy to Myanmar, plans to visit there for a third time in the coming weeks in further pursuit of the efforts to assist its return to normalcy and a democratic path.
In a press statement released today, Sokhonn welcomed the release of the prisoners by the State Administrative Council of Myanmar (SAC). The statement said that he regarded the release of more than 6,000 prisoners by Myanmar as a sign of good will that opens up the possibility of finding a peaceful solution to the current crisis in-line with the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus.
“The special envoy considers this mass prisoner release as an important gesture in the right direction to create a conducive environment for the commencement of a dialogue process among all concerned parties in Myanmar.
“It is a sign of good will in pursuing a peaceful solution to the current crisis, and a positive development in line with the spirit and aspiration of the Five-Point Consensus reached at the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on 24 April 2021,” the statement said.
The statement listed some of the notable figures among those released, such as Kyaw Tint Swe, former minister for the Office of the State Counsellor; Lei Lei Maw, former chief minister of Tanintharyi Region and Mya Aye, an activist from the 8888 Generation pro-democracy organisation.
Also released were Myo Nyunt, member of the central executive committee and spokesperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD); U Thein Oo, NLD central executive committee member; U Kyaw Ho, NLD legal advisor; Professor U MaungTha Cho; Shwe Nya War Sayadaw; Vicky Bowman, the UK’s former ambassador to Myanmar, and her spouse; Professor Sean Turnell, former economic policy advisor to Aung San Suu Kyi; Toru Kubota, Japanese journalist and film producer; and US citizen Kyaw Htay Oo.
“It is hoped that more progress can be achieved on the three priorities of the Five-Point Consensus, namely ending violence, facilitation of humanitarian assistance delivery and building trust and confidence for an inclusive peace dialogue,” Sokhonn said.