Kiwis furious after Myanmar military invited to ASEAN despite horrific video of officials burning men alive

Warning: This story contains disturbing content and may upset some readers. 

The Myanmar community in New Zealand is outraged after officials from the country's military were invited to summits that are being hosted in Wellington this month. 

They've written to Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters saying the regime has waged a war against its own people, asking him to block their entry. 

It comes after CNN obtained footage which shows two men being tortured to death by the Myanmar military. The footage shows the pair, aged 20 and 21, being chained up, dragged across the ground and then burned alive.  

They were part of a resistance group that states its aim is to bring peace and democracy to Myanmar, which has been ruled by the military since it overthrew the government in a coup in 2021.  

Myanmar Community in NZ spokesperson Phyo Sandar Soe escaped the country after being charged with high treason for fighting for human rights.  

At the time she was proud New Zealand was the first country in the world to condemn the coup - but now she's upset officials from Myanmar's military regime have been invited to Wellington.  

"We were really shocked and outraged and the Myanmar community here are sad and angry," Sander Soe said.  

Myanmar's military has been blamed for 4700 civilian deaths since taking power three years ago. Before that, they were responsible for thousands of deaths of the Muslim Rohingya minority and helped drive more than 700,000 of them from the country. 

New Zealand's Myanmar community, supported by the Council of Trade Unions (CTU), is calling on the Government to stop the military representatives' access.  

CTU President Richard Wagstaff said the Government shouldn't let the representatives come here.  

"New Zealand is the host. New Zealand has to issue a visa for them to come. In our view, this is a line we shouldn't cross, and it doesn't do our reputation any good in doing so," Wagstaff said.  

The community has written to Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters asking him to step in and it's a message supported by Sander Soe.  

"We are going to do everything we can to persuade the New Zealand Government...We believe the New Zealand government will do the right thing for the people of Myanmar," she said.  

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a statement saying it has consistently called on the military regime to end the violence - and has made clear New Zealand's position and condemnation of the coup. 

But MFAT added as an ASEAN member, Myanmar officials have been invited to the meetings in Wellington later this month. 

The Foreign Affairs Minister is in Egypt so was unavailable for an interview.