[Statement] Youth in Response to The Myanmar Military Coup

Published by AYF Secretariat on

Copy of Black White Think Speak Typography Saying Poster-4

We, as the youth of Southeast Asia, stand in solidarity with the people of Myanmar in condemnation of the Myanmar military junta and its security forces’ continuing lawless violence against peaceful protesters and civilians. While we welcome the efforts made by ASEAN leaders in holding the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on 24 April 2021 which produced the Five-Point consensus to address the situation in Myanmar, it was unfortunate that ASEAN invited Senior General Min Aung Hlaing who is the leader of the military coup instead of a representative of the National Unity Government (NUG), who represents the democratically elected government of Myanmar. There has also been little significant progress to the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus which called for: 

  1. The immediate cessation of violence in Myanmar.
  2. Constructive dialogue among the parties aimed at peace and for the interest of the people.
  3. A special envoy of ASEAN to facilitate the dialogue. 
  4. Provision of humanitarian assistance through the AHA centre. 
  5. A visit to Myanmar by the special envoy and delegation to meet with the concerned parties.

In fact, the military junta has made it clear that it shall only consider and cooperate with the consensus once it restores stability in Myanmar. The junta’s position has produced significant bafflement as it was actually the reason for the current instabilities faced. 

We further welcome the rare step taken by the UN General Assembly on 18 June 2021 in adopting a resolution that strongly condemned the use of excessive and lethal force by the military junta against its own citizens. The resolution also called for: 

  1. The Myanmar armed forces to respect the results of the general election on 8 November 2020, end the state of emergency, respect the human rights of the people, and allow the sustained democratic transition of Myanmar. 
  2. Unconditional release of the President, State Counsellor and those that have been arbitrarily detained. 
  3. The implementation of ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus. 
  4. Cessation of violence against peaceful protestors and end restrictions on internet and social media.
  5. Unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need.
  6. Cooperation of Myanmar armed forces with the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of Myanmar.
  7. Member States to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar. 
  8. Continued engagement with ASEAN to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis. 

However, the military junta immediately rejected the resolution, claiming that the Resolution was biased and that it shall not tolerate the interference of the international community into Myanmar’s internal affairs. It’s even greatly unfortunate that ASEAN member states, Thailand, Laos PDR, Cambodia and even the current chair Brunei Darussalam all abstained from the resolution. This demonstrates the reluctance of ASEAN to implement its own Five-Point Consensus. As such, we hereby call on the ASEAN to fully commit to the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus by taking immediate action to avoid any more delays and urge the UN Security Council to take the necessary steps to enforce the Resolution. We also call on these collaborating bodies and states to be more proactive in their approach in interventions against the military junta’s abuse of human rights and  oppression of personal and political freedom. As of June 2021, over 800 Myanmar residents have been killed by the military troops and over 5,000 have been detained, including but not limited to young children and youths across various regions of the country. Similar patterns of violence by the junta have been reported for generations and are not solely perpetrated towards members of urban communities. Myanmar residents from non-urban areas such as ethnic minorities and other impoverished rural communities have been tormented by abuse and forced cultural assimilation for generations. 

As a response to the unlawful coup d’etat on the 1st of February, Myanmar youths from a diversity of backgrounds - regardless of age, ethnicity, region, gender identity,  sexual orientation, religious identity, profession or other personal identities - valiantly rose towards a unified revolution, harnessed by their ambition for political and human rights reform. Manifesting their aspirations to have a peaceful, inclusive, and democratic federal union, the people have been firm in pursuing a non-violent movement, refusing to resort to any plan of action that involves any risk of life. This is a revolution that not only includes peaceful on-the-ground demonstrations by activists, such as candlelight vigils and peaceful protests, but also labour strikes by civil service workers from every level of national infrastructure as a part of a full Civil Disobedience Movement. However, this movement was met with the retaliation of the military junta, whose forces perpetrated human rights violations against residents, primarily targeting youths who have been at the forefront of the movement. These violations include, but are not limited to, subjecting people from urban and rural areas to arbitrary arrest, torture, arson, and indiscriminate and unprovoked killings, as well as injuries and assaults of physical, psychological and sexual nature, through the use of live ammunition, physical assault, airstrikes, addictives, tear gas, rifle grenades, and other heavy weaponry and strategies clearly aimed at psychological warfare and lethal harm.  

As a youth-led regional organization that strategizes and fights for young peoples’ rights for a sustainable, inclusive and people-centred ASEAN community, we strongly implore the ASEAN and the UN Security Council to act on the ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus and the UN General Assembly Resolution in response to the unlawful coup d'etat without delay by:

  1. Implementing proactive action to bring an end to any and all acts of violence and oppression by the junta.
  2. Consistently demanding the release of all political prisoners (including protesters and journalists) and ensuring their future safety.
  3. Providing and ensuring access to local and cross-border humanitarian relief for all those in need in Myanmar.
  4. Demanding the lift of any and all restrictions imposed by the military that affect the freedom and basic rights of the people such as the right of peaceful assembly.
  5. Coordinating a global arms embargo on Myanmar, barring any and all types of military assistance, including equipment, services and information that would provide any advantage for the junta. 
  6. Increasing economic sanctions targeting the military and military-affiliated companies and individuals.
  7. Disengaging completely from the military with respect to any and all national, regional and international affairs and discussions, including any upcoming regional and international summits. 
  8. Supporting the legitimization of the interim democratically-elected NUG and reject any member of the military junta attempting to represent Myanmar in any and all global affairs.

List of Supporting Young Individuals: 

  1. T. Musrian, Indonesia
  2. Job Bautista, The Philippines
  3. Saittawut Yutthaworakool, Thailand
  4. Maria Nova R. Silvano, The Philippines
  5. Laurence C. Beruin, The Philippines
  6. Karminn CDD Yangot, The Philippines
  7. Ael Napitupulu, Indonesia
  8. Prince Ricky A. Varona, The Philippines
  9. Atanasia Nocorau Novita Soares De Jesus, Timor Leste
  10. Cintya Ayu Thresa, Indonesia
  11. Jourdane Nicole L. Bulosan, The Philippines
  12. Gilbert Macalindong , The Philippines
  13. Muhammad Ariff Mohamad Nizam, Malaysia
  14. Therese Marie Avanceña, The Philippines
  15. Mark James P. Rico, The Philippines
  16. Ei Myat Mon Oo, Myanmar
  17. M Rhaka Katresna, Indonesia
  18. Mark Jay Juanitas, The Philippines
  19. Matthew Boon Meng Ng
  20. Raihan Rafi Permana, Indonesia
  21. Shar Thae Hoy, Myanmar
  22. Ngoc Nguyen, Vietnam
  23. Lylene Belle M. Carcedo, The Philippines
  24. Sofia Tantono, Indonesia
  25. Alzuardi Ramadhan, Indonesia
  26. Dewi Asiska Lae, Indonesia
  27. Achmad Haikal Maali, Indonesia
  28. Muhammad Ariff Mohamad Nizam, Malaysia
  29. William Matawaran, The Philippines
  30. Htet Htet Phyo Wai, Myanmar
  31. Jeremy Tan Fok Jun, Malaysia
  32. Amirul Firdaus, Malaysia
  33. Justin T. Felicia, The Philippines
  34. Afifah Damanhuri, Malaysia
  35. Muhammad Amirul Syafiq, Malaysia
  36. Keanne Kylle Matillano, The Philippines
  37. Siti Nadhirah Zainudin, Malaysia        
  38. Mirza Taufiq, Malaysia
  39. Rastra Yasland, Indonesia 
  40. Siti Hajar, Indonesia 
  41. Rosalind, Indonesia 
  42. Geri, Indonesia
  43. Quer, The Philippines
  44. Lin, Myanmar
  45. Aden, Indonesia
  46. Jessica, Indonesia
  47. Arianne, The Philippines
  48. Muhammad, Indonesia
  49. Mariel, The Philippines
  50. Hanny, Indonesia
  51. John, The Philippines
  52. Thomas
  53. Jonel, The Philippines
  54. Nanticha, Thailand
  55. Jennifer, The Philippines
  56. Liew, Malaysia
  57. John, The Philippines
  58. Alondra, The Philippines
  59. Natasha, The Philippines
  60. Albert, The Philippines 
  61. Nester, The Philippines 
  62. Nana, Indonesia
  63. Ridho, Indonesia
  64. Bh, Malaysia   
  65. Muhammad, Indonesia                      
  66. Nurul, Malaysia           
  67. Yogi, Indonesia

 

And thirteen (13) undisclosed individuals.

 

List of Supporting Organizations/Community: 

  1. MOFFE Timor-Leste (Young Women Movement in Timor-Leste)
  2. World Association of Eloquendipity and Ingenious Humans - WAEIH, Myanmar
  3. (Re)aksi Remaja, Indonesia
  4. Tim Krayon KGS Garut, Indonesia 
  5. Sekolah Damai Indonesia
  6. Remaja UNEP Indonesia
  7. Batang Star Philippines
  8. WateryNation - Thirst Project Indonesia
  9. Young Progressives Hub, The Phillipines 
  10. Teens and Dreams
  11. Dialog Rupa, Indonesia 
  12. terre des hommes Germany

 

List of Supporting Individuals: 

  1. Luz Abayan, The Philippines
  2. Fitri, Indonesia
  3. Itsaraporn Daoram, Thailand
  4. Chhan Sokunthea, Cambodia 
  5. Fatimah Zahrah, Indonesia 
  6. Chumareoh, Indonesia