Anti-coup protesters were out in force across Myanmar on Saturday, while the military chief who led the country's February 1 coup flew to Indonesia.
READ MORE: Indonesian President Joko Widodo called for the creation of an ASEAN special envoy to Myanmar to engage with all parties in the crisis-torn country during a gathering Saturday of Southeast Asian leaders in Jakarta.
The gathering is the first coordinated international effort to ease the crisis in Myanmar, an impoverished country that neighbors China, India and Thailand. Myanmar is part of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
With participants attending in person despite the pandemic, Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Friday that the summit reflected the "deep concern about the situation in Myanmar and ASEAN's determination to help Myanmar get out of this delicate situation."
"We hope that tomorrow's [summit] will reach an agreement regarding steps that are good for the people of Myanmar," she said.
It's unusual for the leader of a military government in Myanmar to attend an ASEAN summit — usually the country has been represented by a lower-ranked officer or a civilian. Min Aung Hlaing was seen disembarking after arriving on a special flight from Naypyitaw, the Myanmar capital, according to footage on the official video channel of Indonesia's presidential palace.
Diplomats and government officials who asked not to be named said many ASEAN leaders want a commitment from Min Aung Hlaing to restrain his security forces, who monitors say have killed 745 people since a mass civil disobedience movement emerged to challenge his February 1 coup against the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.