– Continuing Struggle for Democracy –
On the 1st February 2022, we commemorated one year since the coup and people’s continuing resistance in Myanmar.
In January 2022, BEBESEA spoke with H.E Mr. Bo Hla-Tint, or U Bo, theNational Unity Government of Myanmars’ (NUG) Ambassador to ASEAN. The NUG was established on the 16th of April 2021 as a government in exile. Ambassador Bo is a prominent political figure, who co-founded the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) on the Thai-Burma border in December 1990.
The full conversation is available on Voicesea Podcast. This article is part 2 of 4.
How do you see the commemoration day of one year of the coup – what does it mean to you?
It is the darkest year for Myanmar people and in the history of Myanmar. As I mentioned, we are facing the most inhumane and brutal military crackdown, using excessive military power against the people, democracy loving people, people who respect human rights and individual freedoms. They are being labelled as the enemy of the state, and arbitrarily arrested, put in jail for a long time unnecessarily. All kinds of inhumane brutality against people and targeting civilian society have happened, with the use of heavy artillery, military ejector jets and helicopters. The last whole year has been a nightmare for the Burmese people and people in Myanmar.
It is very crucial to note that even though it is the darkest year for the country, people’s will is there, stronger and more committed. The generation Z of Myanmar declare that they must be the last generation under military rule. In the future, there must be no military dictatorship in the future of Myanmar, but there must be a genuine democratic federal union in which all people are able to join, regardless of their religion, skin colour, what they believe, their race or nationality. People, the new generation, are very committed, staying to resist, and their morale has stayed strong. All ethnic groups are working together today against the military junta, and that is a very encouraging result we have gained because of the attempted military coup. That is the very essential key practice we all need, when we dream for the better future of Myanmar.
Even though we have the worst year in terms of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and unfair trials faced by our leadership, the morale of the people of Myanmar has stayed strong and they are totally rejecting the military attempt to get power. Even though we faced the very harsh and very brutal year 2021, the morale of our movement including the leadership level, the NUG and National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), stayed strong. The NUCC is the most inclusive policy making forum of all the forces we are talking about, including the elected members of parliament, ethnic armed organisations, the representatives from the civil society, women, youth, and ethnic armed organisations’ representatives. It is the highest place for all key stakeholders to make correct policy against the military junta, under which the NUG was established.
All elected members of parliament now work with this policy making forum, NUCC, and we have the NUG as a government accepted by the United Nation and other countries. We now have more than 10 countries in which we have representative offices around the globe including the UK, France, the United States and others. The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), as a parliamentary elected body, is working to prepare for the federal constitution drafting process, and at the same time, they are trying to establish communication with International parliamentarians. They are working closely with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) and all international parliamentarians and inter-parliamentary groups.
However, in terms of regional cooperation, we have a very cautious thinking of ASEAN leadership, so it is very crucial to work with the civic society like you. Through these people-to-people engagements through civil society organisations, we can work together to raise awareness and to have correct strategic thinking to understand what is really going on.
The full conversation is available on Voicesea Podcast. This article will be followed by part 3 of 4, which further discusses ASEAN’s roles.