Youth Statement in Observance of One Year of Myanmar Military Coup

Published by AYF Secretariat on

THUMBNAIL (1)

We, the youth of Southeast Asia, express our continued frustration, desperation, and sorrow with what is still happening in Myanmar. Exactly one year ago today, the Myanmar military staged a coup d'etat deposing the democratically elected government and marked the beginning of the widespread and systematic onslaught of Myanmar civilians. We have witnessed time and again the Tatmadaw’s utter disregard for the human rights and livelihood of the people. As the coup continues to be met with universal rejection, we the youth of Southeast Asia are maintaining our regional solidarity in support of the true will of the people. 

 

The following list highlights the atrocious acts that the Tatmadaw has and continues to commit. It is a non-exhaustive list, yet it is sufficient to solidify our resolve that the military junta have no right nor place to represent the Myanmar people. 

 

  1. Hundreds of politicians from the democratically elected party including President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi were arbitrarily detained and convicted with politically motivated charges. Mass arrests were also committed against youth, including students and children, journalists, and any individuals who expressed dissent, criticized the coup, and participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Not only have the detainees been denied access to a fair trial, but there are also countless reports of torture, ill-treatment, and arbitrary killing in custody. Furthermore, women, girls, and gender & sexual minorities have become the junta’s target of assault, harassment, and violence. 
  2. Lethal force has been used to disperse protestors. The most violent crackdown was recorded on 27 March 2021-Armed Forces Day where more than 100 protesters across the country were killed. Similarly, on 9 April 2021, at least 80 protesters were killed in the Bago region. Most recently on 5 December 2021, online footage caught a military van intentionally ramming and firing shots on protestors marching in Yangon. 
  3. In July 2021, the military weaponized the deadly third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic by denying provision and prohibited the sale of oxygen by oxygen plants and private clinics with staff who oppose the military rule. Charity organizations were also prevented from distributing oxygen. Meanwhile, oxygen supplies were hoarded and funneled to military facilities. Hundreds of people who nevertheless queued daily to get oxygen supplies were arrested and shot at. 
  4. In response to civilians taking up arms and forming self-defense groups, the military has launched airstrikes and violent raids on cities, villages, and townships. In Thantlang, Chin state, since September 2021, hundreds of civilian properties including houses, churches, and CSO offices have been systematically burned and destroyed. In Sagaing and Magway regions the military often stormed villages, looted civilian properties, destroyed and burned houses and food supplies, and arrested civilians to be used as human shields. On Christmas eve of 2021, at least 35 civilians including children and humanitarian workers were burned alive in Kayah State. Similarly, on 7 December 2021, 11 civilians, mostly youth, were tied up and burned to death in the Sagaing region. 
  5. With growing internal displacement throughout the country, the Tatmadaw deliberately restricts humanitarian agencies’ efforts to distribute lifesaving supplies to IDP populations. IDPs living in local camps are left sick and starving from lack of nutritious food and medicine which forces them to flee to neighboring territories such as Mae Sot in Thailand and Mizoram in India where humanitarian aid is also scarce due to the significant influx of refugees. Non-IDP livelihoods are also severely affected by travel and motorbike restrictions, cut communication lines, internet shutdowns, and arbitrary increase of internet taxes on both users and providers. Consequently, as of December 2021, an estimated 14,4 million or 25% of people in Myanmar are left in need of humanitarian assistance. 
  6. As of January 2022, there are approximately 1500 people killed and 11,800 people arrested. 

 

With young people being at the forefront of the fight to take back their country, they are forced to jeopardize their lives, happiness, education, and livelihood. In spite of all of that, the response from ASEAN, the UN and the international community as a whole have been inconsequential.

  1. While we welcome ASEAN’s formulation of the five-point consensus back in April 2021, it has not been implemented properly. In one instance, the military junta purposely prohibited the then ASEAN’s Special Envoy to Myanmar, Erywan Yusof access to the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, effectively in contradiction to the consensus. 
  2. We also welcome ASEAN’s move from its well-known non-interference policy to barring military leaders from attending the ASEAN Summit back in October 2021 as a consequence of ignoring the consensus. However, we are appalled by the backward act of Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hu Sen as the current Chair of ASEAN as he visited  Myanmar to see the junta leader Ming Aung Hlaing. We are further outraged by the Prime Minister’s argument that there should be inclusion for junta officials in ASEAN meetings. This act not only confers legitimacy to the junta but also jeopardizes any chance of recognition of the National Unity Government (NUG), as the rightful representative of the Myanmar people. 
  3. We further welcome the UN General Assembly Resolution back on 18 June 2021 which called for the release of all political prisoners and the prevention of the flow of arms into Myanmar. We also welcome sanctions imposed by the US, UK, EU against military-linked companies and individuals. Nevertheless, we are frustrated by the lack of willpower by the UN Security Council (UNSC) to comprehensively impose a global arms embargo on Myanmar and other States who continue to engage economically or otherwise with the military elite. 

 

With an absence of effort and willpower from the military authorities to properly address the situation, we are thus calling for ASEAN, the UN, and the international community as a whole to not allow for the continuance of violence, cruelty, and inhumanity of the military junta against the people of Myanmar. We demand all relevant stakeholders to move beyond making statements of condemnation and take meaningful steps that can place pressure on the junta to relinquish its tyrannical control through the following collective steps: 

  1. The international community must delegitimize and reject the junta’s rule and instead, support the recognition of the NUG as the democratically elected government. Engagements with NUG officials must also be regularly maintained to ensure that its values and policies are in line with protecting the rights of the Myanmar people. 
  2. The international community must honour its political commitment under the principle of Responsibility to Protect against genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. In this regard, the UNSC must refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court and bring accountability for the international crimes committed by the junta. 
  3. All States and the private sector should place economic sanctions or otherwise on military-linked businesses and individuals. Furthermore, any transaction involving weapons, equipment, or any type of military assistance must be halted indefinitely.  
  4. Individuals, the media, and civil society organizations must continue to voice out and highlight what is happening in Myanmar to build regional and international solidarity amongst world citizens. While attention on what is happening in Myanmar has diminished slightly, we must not neglect that atrocities are still being committed on a daily basis by the junta.

List of Supporting Individuals: 

  1. Davina Anne, Malaysia
  2. Karminn C.D. Daytec Yañgot, The Philippines
  3. Therese Marie Avanceña, The Philippines
  4. Khin Htet Htet Htoon, Myanmar
  5. Ricardo Valente Basmeri dos Reis Araújo, Timor Leste
  6. Amirul Firdaus, Malaysia
  7. Siti Hajar, Indonesia
  8. Mindy Liew, Malaysia
  9. Min Punia, Myanmar
  10. Arie Fajar, Indonesia
  11. Dani Sunjana, Indonesia
  12. Aung Linn, Myanmar
  13. M. S. Kemalsyah, Indonesia
  14. Đức Nguyễn, Vietnam
  15. Wahyu Eka Styawan, Indonesia
  16. Anisa, Indonesia
  17. Alexis Concordia, The Philippines
  18. Ian Cyrus Eduarte Barcelos, The Philippines
  19. Myo Nyein Naing, Myanmar
  20. Gerald T. Marco, The Philippines
  21. Jourdane Bulosan, The Philippines
  22. Ajeng Lestari, Indonesia
  23. Amaeia Stella Mickaella M. Manos, The Philippines
  24. Soth Peosamnang, Cambodia
  25. Kyaw Zaw Lin, Myanmar
  26. Laurence C. Beruin, The Philippines
  27. Normel Bermundo, The Philippines
  28. Terese, Singapore
  29. Ilham Baskoro, Indonesia
  30. Mark Jay Juanitas, The Philippines
  31. Arianne Joy Fabregas, The Philippines
  32. Jonel Baliwag, The Philippines
  33. Artbie A. Samson, EdD, The Philippines
  34. Giordanio Paulo Barbosa da Rosa, Timor Leste
  35. Ruth Ann B. Dean, The Philippines
  36. Salai Hsan Winn Kyi, Myanmar
  37. Elisiana Varela Pereira, Timor Leste
  38. Jesuinha dos Santos de Jesus, Timor Leste
  39. Luz Abayan, The Philippines 
  40. Tu Mai, Myanmar
  41. Wesley Clarke Silvederio, The Philippines
  42. Rosalind Ratana, Indonesia
  43. Ei Cho Zin, Myanmar
  44. Juvenia de Fátima Nunes, Timor Leste
  45. Ronalyn C. Bustarga, The Philippines
  46. Romualdo Cristovao Monteiro, Timor Leste
  47. Christian Joy Rizardo Anico, The Philippines
  48. Julius Caezar Tabilin, The Philippines
  49. Riza, The Philippines
  50. António Roberto do Carmo, Timor Leste
  51. Ilda da Cruz Dos Santos, Timor Leste
  52. Marbyn B. Peren, The Philippines
  53. Ismael Dwi Putra, Indonesia
  54. Mélina Froidure, Central/Eastern/Western Europe
  55. Bùi Ngọc Phương Nghi, Vietnam
  56. Normel, The Philippines
  57. Noor, Singapore
  58. Sudthida, Thailand
  59. Yati, Myanmar
  60. Khant, Thailand
  61. Myat, Myanmar
  62. Stephen, Myanmar
  63. Nadiah, Brunei Darussalam
  64. Yin, Myanmar
  65. Asyraf, Singapore
  66. Ridho, Central/Eastern/Western Europe
  67. Hayman, Myanmar
  68. Shar, Myanmar
  69. Phoo, Myanmar
  70. Francis, The Philippines
  71. Cipriano, Timor Leste
  72. Dr Saw, Myanmar
  73. Sally, Myanmar
  74. Phyo, Myanmar
  75. Kento, Myanmar
  76. Rhayan, The Philippines
  77. Khong, Vietnam
  78. Cherry, Indonesia
  79. Jen, The Philippines
  80. Cesaltino, Timor Leste
  81. Aung, Myanmar
  82. Renata, Indonesia
  83. John, The Philippines
  84. Jericho, The Philippines
  85. Htet, Myanmar
  86. Khin, Myanmar
  87. Yohanes, Timor Leste
  88. Jennifer, The Philippines
  89. Dwight, The Philippines
  90. Joanna, The Philippines
  91. Htet, Myanmar
  92. Excel, The Philippines
  93. Plácido, Timor Leste
  94. Livania, Timor Leste
  95. Chan, The Philippines
  96. Aymanda, Malaysia
  97. Simon, The Philippines
  98. Lawrence, The Philippines

And 22 undisclosed individuals 

List of Supporting Organizations/Communities: 

  1. Shape-Sea, Thailand
  2. Teens and Dreams, Myanmar
  3. Myanmar Youth foundation for SDG, Myanmar
  4. ASEAN Youth, The Philippines
  5. ALTSEAN-Burma, Regional Organization / Community
  6. Persatuan Transpuan Sumatera Utara (PETRASU), Indonesia
  7. Underground Moving Images & Sound LTD, International Organization / Community
  8. Parliwomen, Malaysia
  9. Colubot Elementary School, The Philippines
  10. Asia Democracy Network, Regional Organization / Community
  11. The Dolphin Publication, The Philippines
  12. Students Alliance Southeast Asia
  13. ASEAN Studies Centre, Indonesia
  14. ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, South/Central/East Asia
  15. Wonderland Indigenous People Youth Organization, The Philippines
  16. terre des hommes Germany, International Organization / Community
  17. US-ASEAN Young Professionals Association, Regional Organization / Community
  18. Higher Education Malaysia Association (HEYA), Malaysia
  19. Inspirator Muda Nusantara, Indonesia
  20. Movers. Program, Vietnam
  21. Silda Community, Timor Leste
  22. Child Rights Coalition Asia

                                             


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