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April 23, 2021 33 min

ASEAN leaders will meet in Jakarta on April 24 to discuss the ongoing crisis in Myanmar, which has shown no sign of abating since a military coup deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi at the beginning of February.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets daily to demand a return to democracy - and the military has sought to quell the anti-coup movement with lethal force. Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands detained. 

Much hope has been placed in the international community to mediate an end to the turmoil - particularly in the regional stakeholders represented by ASEAN. 

But Myanmar will be represented at the Jakarta summit by the junta leader Min Aung Hlaing - something that's raised a fair few eyebrows and has highlighted the limitations in what ASEAN can be expected to - and is prepared to - do. 

To discuss the issue we are joined by two brilliant guests, who both have extensive experience at the very heart of the region's politics. Bilahari Kausikan is the former Permanent Secretary of Singapore's Foreign Ministry, and now the chair of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore. Our other guest, Hoang Thi Ha from the ASEAN Studies Centre of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, has nine years experience at the ASEAN Secretariat itself and also used to work  at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam. 

Our host this week is Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House. 

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