Indonesia can help repair ASEAN’s authoritarian drift under Cambodia’s Hun Sen

Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year offers an opportunity to move beyond the sterile process of running down the clock witnessed under Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in 2022.

ASEAN failed to achieve anything in regard to the illegitimate military junta in Myanmar last year as Hun Sen simply waited to hand the problem over to someone else. Hun Sen and his representatives failed to meet with National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi or any representative of the National Unity Government (NUG), which represents the will of the vast majority of Myanmar’s people.

Hun Sen looked on in passive acquiescence as Suu Kyi was sentenced to 33 years in prison, including three years of hard labor. The ASEAN doctrine of noninterference to which Hun Sen enthusiastically subscribes makes such monstrous behavior by Myanmar’s junta possible.

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