Burma Times: Feb 16, 2016
The Thein Sein, Myanmars outgoing president cancelled a US trip to attend the US-ASEAN summit along with his 10 ASEAN counterparts which will be hosted by US PresidentBarackObama on February 15 16 at the Sunnylands Estate in California.
At first, Zaw Htay, the director of presidents office told the reason ofcancellationof the trip isas to attend other business but later he told that it is to monitor the transition of power to newly elected NLD government.
“The president decided not to attend the meeting because this is transition period. The transition process needs to be stable and smooth, so he thinks he should take care of it,” said Zaw Htay to AFP.
According to Myanmar media reports, the Vice President Nyan Tun will be replaced him to attend the summit.
But some of the activists suspecting that the avoidance is due to fear of being served with lawsuit in a US federal Court which was filed against him for the crimes against humanity.
A US based non-profit NGO, Burma Task Force (BTF), a coalition of 19 Muslim American organizations has filed a lawsuit against Thein Sein and some of his ministers in the US Federal Court for the Southern District of New York regarding their roles in genocidal policies in Myanmar targeting the Rohingya Muslim minority.
The case was submitted under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ACTA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), and charges Thein Sein and his ministers with crimes against humanity, extra-judicial killing, torture, mental and physical trauma.
On October 1, the court issued summons against Thein Sein but he missed it to present in front of the judge.
According to BTF, its lawyer asked again the court to issue another summon against him during his arrival to US to attend the ASEAN summit.
Besides, the Burma Task Force also makes a call on President Barak Obama to raise the plight of the Rohingya with Myanmar and other ASEAN leaders in the summit.
Similarly, another US based NGO, United to End Genocide group has sent an open letter with the signatures of its 5 thousand members to President Obama and the leaders of ASEAN countries where the group urged them to address the genocide against Rohingya in the summit.
As an effort to end the genocide in Myanmar, the United to End Genocide runs a full-page ad on a local newspaper, The Desert Sun, calling participating presidents in the summit to Take off the Blinders SAVE THE ROHINGYA.