Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore pushed for a harder stance against Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing at a "tense" meeting that decided to exclude him from a regional summit this month, four people with knowledge of the talks said.

Southeast Asian ministers were divided between sticking to a tradition of non-interference and the need to retain credibility by sanctioning the coup leader, who has led a bloody crackdown on dissent since seizing power from Myanmar’s civilian government on Feb. 1, the sources said.

In the end it was the chair, Brunei, with majority backing, that chose to keep him from attending the virtual Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders' summit set for Oct. 26 to 28, and invite instead a "non-political representative" from Myanmar.