ANFREL will start publishing this brief to provide an insight into the human rights and democracy situation in the countries facing democratic regression. In this series, they have covered Cambodia, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Hong Kong. Please click on the image below to access the full brief.
8th April 2021
By: Tan Yi Han*
Seven year old Khin Myo Chit was sitting on her father’s lap in her home when soldiers killed her. Thinzar Hein was a nursing student who was treating injured protestors at protest sites when she was shot in the head by soldiers. Sixteen year old Kyaw Min Latt was cycling with two others when soldiers in a passing vehicle shot him.
More than 500 civilians have been killed since the Myanmar military, the Tatmadaw, seized power on 1 February 2021. The highest toll – 141 lost their lives in one day of 27 March. The escalating violence represents not only a humanitarian crisis but threatens regional peace, stability and prosperity.
ASEAN cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this tragedy. The leaders of ASEAN must act decisively to help Myanmar return peacefully to a democratically-elected civilian government.
ASEAN has taken encouraging first steps. A statement conveyed by ASEAN Chair, Brunei, summarising the meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers, urged for a “peaceful solution” to the crisis. Also deserving of applause are individual statements issued by Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore urging Myanmar’s military rulers to free Suu Kyi and other political leaders who have been arrested.
Thailand has called for ASEAN to adopt a “collective stand” on Myanmar. That could happen via the high-level ASEAN meeting of Southeast-Asian leaders proposed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo. It is encouraging that Singapore actively supports such a proposal. as stated by the Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
The Myanmar general election on 8 November 2020, won decisively by the National League for Democracy (NLD), had been praised by election monitors for being a peaceful process and that it was free of major irregularities. The Tatmadaw has a right to raise concerns on the election. In fact the Union Solidarity Development Party had filed their complaints in court, making it unnecessary an illegal to resort to violence. The coup and subsequent killings call into question the Tatmadaw’s claim to be defending the Constitution and the will of the people.
The anti-coup movement continues to grow despite the brutal crackdown, suggesting that the coup is widely condemned by the people of Myanmar. Meanwhile, 10 of Myanmar’s ethnic armed groups have thrown their support behind the anti-coup movement. All signs point to a protracted conflict and further escalation of violence.
The peaceful transition to democracy in 2015 had led to a friendly environment for economic investments, including from fellow ASEAN countries. In fact, Singapore has been the largest investor in the country, with US$24.1 billion in approved foreign capital. The coup is therefore not only disastrous for the country’s economic recovery, but also for the entire region’s economy.
Many from ethnic groups and villagers are fleeing the violence, becoming refugees. What is often forgotten is the pandemic and that Covid-19 is still rife. The Chinese city of Ruili near the Myanmar border has already seen an outbreak of Covid.
The gestures made by ASEAN and some of the countries in ASEAN cannot remain as just the spoken word. In fact, there has been success when ASEAN’s engagement effort, among other efforts, helped to pave the way towards Myanmar’s political reforms under Prime Minister (and later President) Thein Sein, leading eventually, to a peaceful transition of power to a democratically-elected civilian-led government in 2015.
ASEAN must endeavour to use its unique position and relationship with Myanmar to positively influence the Tatmadaw and mediate between the key political stakeholders: the Tatmadaw, Aung San Suu Kyi and the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, and representatives from the ethnic minorities.
For negotiations to be successful, however, all parties must see it as the best way forward. That means that ASEAN must make a clear stand that while the Tatmadaw is a key stakeholder in Myanmar, it does not represent the people nor the government of Myanmar. Only decisions collectively agreed by Myanmar’s key political stakeholders should be recognised.
ASEAN is the best hope for the people of Myanmar. I urge the leaders of ASEAN to:
- Hold as soon as possible a high-level ASEAN meeting of Southeast-Asian leaders to discuss the Myanmar crisis and adopt a collective stand towards addressing the conflict.
- Facilitate dialogue between Myanmar’s key political stakeholders;
- Make a clear stand the Tatmadaw does not represent the people or government of Myanmar, and only collective decisions via peaceful negotiations will be recognised.
ASEAN can do it again. It needs to. ASEAN must.
*Opinion Writer for MARUAH
*Edited & Approved by MARUAH
Please click on the screen shot above for the full statement.
(Update – 27 March) – Thank you to everyone who have shared the word, contributed to the collage or are doing your part to spread the word and show support for the people in Myanmar.
We have created a collage based on submissions from our readers. Please do share this video collage with those around you.
THIS CHAPTER: A IN SOLIDARITY CALL TO ALL PEOPLE IN SINGAPORE
We are trying to get MANY, MANY people in Singapore to show their support for the people in Myanmar.
These are the details:
- February 1st the military (Tatmadaw) in a coup d’état took over rule from an elected government, disregarding the results, the positive comments made by international elections observers or the work done by the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH)
- They arrested many elected political leaders, including State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
- Millions of Myanmarese protested, many stopped work to join the civil disobedience movement (CDM) to fight for their democracy, freedom and justice. Many young and older persons have said that they are ready to die for their country and freedom.
- To date (March 21st) 235 people have been killed, mainly from shots to their heads. Many more injured. More than 2,330 people have been arrested. Myanmar is under martial law set by the military
- The military is relentless in targeting people, communities, killings, destroying the CDM’s barricades in the many cities around the country and in forcing threatening people to be their human shields in the work against protesters.
- Some countries have stated they are not recognising the Tatmadaw as the government of Myanmar. Some have imposed sanctions. United Nations has issued statements. So has ASEAN. Some ASEAN member countries have issued stronger statements on this situation. But thoughtful and concerted action remains limited.
- Some Links given below give a clearer picture of the situation.
What we are asking from you:
A call has been made to people in ASEAN to show solidarity with the people in Myanmar.
As people living in Singapore, we hope you will believe in supporting the people in Myanmar. If so, please do this:
- take a photo of yourself, holding up the 3-finger salute that Myanmarese are using.
- Do not make the photo larger than 1megabytes
- Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject – In Solidarity with Myanmar (Photo collage)
- Please indicate a name in English, if you like, otherwise, the subtitled image will be left anonymous.
- MARUAH Singapore reserves the right to reject images that are offensive and prejudicial to the intent and spirit of this request.
- Please submit your photos by Thursday 25th March by 10.00 pm.
- Sample image (taken from the Internet)
The collage will be created with some of the following statements:
From Singapore: IN SOLIDARITY With The People In Myanmar
# AGAINST the Coup d’état and Military takeover in Myanmar
# AGAINST the escalating armed violence by the military
# AGAINST people being killed and injured
#AGAINST Imprisonment, Tortures, Deaths of political leaders, activists, journalists, protesters
# AGAINST THE LACK OF ACTION by International, Regional communities
# FOR Democracy
# FOR Rule of Law
# FOR Humanitarian Aid for the injured and food for the people
# FOR China and Russia to not veto and join the UN Security Council to denounce the military takeover and support action against the military for the coup and the violence
# FOR Targeted Economic Sanctions, Global Travel Bans and Asset Freezes by Governments, Banks and the Private Sector when it comes to military personnel, military-owned companies within the Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Companies and Myanmar Economic Corporation
# FOR a global arms embargo to block supplies and sales of weaponry to the military and other armed groups
MARUAH is coordinating this In Solidarity action. About MARUAH: https://maruah.org/about/
Re: ASEAN’s response to the military coup in Myanmar
As civil society organizations from the ASEAN region, we write to you urging you to use your unique position to influence the situation in Myanmar by taking immediate measures to ensure that the military respects people’s right to peaceful protests and to freedom of expression, that democracy is upheld, and the will of the people respected.
Following the Myanmar military’s illegal seizure of power on 1 February, Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing assumed all legislative, executive, and judicial powers under the newly-established State Administrative Council.
A non-violent pro-democracy movement has since grown nationwide, and the Myanmar authorities have responded by cracking down on fundamental freedoms. Hundreds of senior officials from the National League for Democracy (NLD), pro-democracy activists and human rights defenders have been arrested; mobile phone and Internet communications have been heavily restricted; highly repressive legislation, including a draft Cyber Security Bill and revisions to the Penal Code have been adopted; and restrictions on gatherings imposed.
The Myanmar security forces have also increasingly responded with force against peaceful protesters, using live munitions, water cannons and deploying armored vehicles in cities. Given the abuses committed in the past by the Myanmar military under the command of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, including international crimes against the Rohingya and in other ethnic minority areas, we are seriously concerned about a potentially violent response from the authorities.
We would like to recall to your excellencies the principles of the ASEAN Charter, which includes adhering to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, as well as the respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. We also recall the recent UN Security Council statement supporting and encouraging regional organizations, in particular ASEAN, to address the situation in Myanmar.
We welcome the ASEAN Chairman’s statement on the situation in Myanmar, later echoed by the representatives of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). In addition, we are encouraged by the calls made by the leaders of Indonesia and Malaysia in seeking a special meeting of ASEAN’s foreign ministers to discuss the situation.
However, we urge you to go further by immediately using all diplomatic leverage at your disposal to ensure that the Myanmar military refrains from using violence and imposing further restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, as well as to establish a comprehensive response that secures long-term democratic and human rights gains.
Recent developments in Myanmar are disastrous for its people, as well as the region as a whole. They create the potential for thousands of people to flee violence and persecution, as well as a volatile regional environment.
We firmly believe that it is not only crucial, but also in ASEAN’s best interests, to take a strong stance on these urgent and worrying developments. Failure to do so risks further damaging ASEAN’s reputation as an effective regional body that can meaningfully contribute to a strong and viable community of nations.
We draw strength from ASEAN’s productive engagements with Myanmar’s military in the past, most notably in response to the Cyclone Nargis crisis of 2008. We urge ASEAN to recognize that it can be equally helpful to the people of Myanmar today as it was then.
This is the perfect opportunity for ASEAN to demonstrate its political leverage and push for positive developments.
With this in mind, we urge ASEAN to:
- Immediately hold an urgent special meeting to call on the Myanmar military to adhere to the principles of the ASEAN Charter, including the principles of democracy, the rule of law, good governance, and respect for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms by:
- Immediately and unconditionally releasing all those currently arbitrarily detained;
- Refraining from using violence against protesters and respecting people’s right to privacy and information, freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly;
- Allowing parliament to resume, and elected MPs to fulfil their mandate without impediment;
- Immediately restoring full access to the Internet and all forms of communications; and
- Immediately allowing all humanitarian aid and health support to resume unimpeded.
- Collaborate with the UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council to immediately send a delegation to the country to monitor the situation and help negotiate a democratic and human rights-based solution.
- Use your position in UN fora, in particular at the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council, to support enhanced monitoring and reporting of the unfolding human rights crisis in Myanmar.
- Impose targeted financial sanctions on the military as an institution, including its businesses and its associates in a manner that respects human rights and gives due consideration to any negative socio-economic impact on the ordinary civilian population, as recommended by the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar;
- Impose an embargo on the transfer or sale of military arms and equipment to Myanmar; and
- Use all diplomatic leverage and establish a comprehensive response to ensure long-term democratic and human rights change in the country, including by ensuring that:
- The Myanmar armed forces end all violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in ethnic minority and ceasefire areas, and that all civilians are protected;
- Myanmar guarantees the safe, voluntary and dignified return of displaced communities, including the Rohingya, by lifting all arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions on their access to citizenship, freedom of movement, and access to healthcare, education and livelihood opportunities;
- Myanmar fully cooperates with the IIMM and complies with the provisional measures ordered by the ICJ; and
- Institutional and constitutional changes are adopted that would bring the military under civilian control and ensure accountability for human rights violations.
- Alliance for Conflict Transformation
- Arakan CSO network
- ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights
- ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
- ASEAN Youth Forum
- Asia Justice and Rights
- Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
- Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
- Backpack Health Workers Team
- BALAOD Mindanaw
- Burma Medical Association
- Burmese Women’s Union
- Child Rights Coalition Asia
- Chin Human Rights Organization
- Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
- Cross Cultural Foundation
- Democracy, Peace and Women Organization
- Equality Myanmar
- Freedom and Labor Action Group
- Generation Wave
- Genuine People’s Servants
- Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
- Human Rights Educators Network
- Human Rights Foundation of Monland
- Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI)
- Initiatives for International Dialogue
- Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
- Karen Affairs Committee
- Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
- Karen Grassroots Women Network
- Karen Human Rights Group
- Karen Peace Support Network
- Karen Refugee Committee
- Karen Rivers Watch
- Karen Student Network Group
- Karen Teacher Working Group
- Karen Women’s Organization
- Karenni Human Rights Group
- Karenni National Women’s Organization
- Karenni Refugee Committee
- Keng Tung Youth
- Let’s Help Each Other
- Maramagri Youth Network
- Myanmar Civil Society Core Group on ASEAN
- Myanmar People Alliance
- Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma
- Olive Organization
- Pa-O Women’s Union
- Pa-O Youth Organization
- Peace Institute
- People’s Empowerment Foundation
- Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
- Progressive Voice
- Pusat KOMAS
- Shan MATA
- Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM)
- Southern Youth Group
- Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
- The Alliance of Independent Journalists
- The Seagull: Human Rights, Peace and Development
- Think Centre
- Thwee Community Development Network
- TRANSCEND Pilipinas
- Triangle Women
- Women’s League of Burma
February 11, 2021
MARUAH unequivocally condemns the military takeover of Myanmar on February 1, 2021.
The Tatmadaw (military) overthrew the elected government of Myanmar, detained government leaders, civil service officers, activists and human rights rights defenders, imposed a year-long Emergency on the country and has blocked intermittently access to Internet. To date the military has given no official data on the state of well-being of the elected leaders of the Myanmar government, their locations, the number of people arrested and information on who have been arrested.
The Tatmadaw acted deliberately and intentionally. This is a coup d’état. The fragile democracy in Myanmar is in tatters. Military personnel have become the new political leaders of the country. The military supporters and members of the Union Solidarity and Development Party and Buddhist nationalists jointly presented themselves as custodians of Buddhism in the 2020 General Elections, saying that the National League Democracy political party as being anti-Buddhism. Currently this joint force is patrolling the streets alongside uniformed soldiers and police to arrest, threaten and beat-up thousands of protesters in the streets. People in Myanmar are saying clearly that they do not wish to be under military rule as they had experienced it over 50 years (1962-2011). The Tatmadaw in the past had suppressed Buddhism, resulting in the 2007 Saffron Revolution, but now has an ally in the Buddhist Nationalists. Reports are coming in on protesters being arrested, beaten, tear-gassed and shot at across Myanmar, in Naypyidaw, Bago, Magway and Mandalay. MARUAH finds this new kinship between Buddhist nationalists and the military disconcerting as its puts into jeopardy the lives, safety and well-being of people of different religious beliefs amongst the 135 ethnic groups as well as the Rohingyas.
MARUAH also recalls the people’s experiences when the country was under successive military regimes. They were times of long imprisonments, solitary confinements, tortures, extreme poverty, starvation, lack of medical attention, low development, fear and distrust. In recent years we saw the persecution of the Rohingyas, many of whom fled the country. The track record of the past and current governments has been to uphold Myanmar’s sovereignty in the face regional and international interventions on human rights violations and to dismiss the UN reports as being biased and hypocritical. Universally, we presided over an impasse as a million refugees continued
to live in poor conditions and the incessant armed conflicts between the Tatmadaw and rebel forces, resulting in deaths, injuries, rapes and destructions of homes. MARUAH emphasises this blatant disregard shown by the Myanmar governments to abide by the Responsibility to Protect principles. MARUAH also deplores the indifference given to protecting people against Covid-19 in this planned coup.
MARUAH has been in solidarity with many civil society actors in expressing their deep concerns over this 10-day-old takeover. But we make this statement, appealing for a deeper cognizance of the character of the people in Myanmar and for actions to protect them. They are, by thousands, in the streets picking up the cudgels to fight for their democracy and to be governed by an elected government, not a military force that usurped the power. They are reaching out to the global community, risking their safety, to share detailed accounts on what is going on in the country.
We appreciate deeply the prompt response from our own government, Singapore, as well as statements from Association of Southeast Nations’ (ASEAN) leaders and the United Nations. We are particularly pleased that United States of America and New Zealand have declared that they will not recognise the new government of Myanmar. We have also noted reports emerging from both state-level and private sector investments and business partnerships in Myanmar. Based on the series of crimes against humanity over 50 years, the lack of culpability by the government of Myanmar, and the resilience of the people in Myanmar in fighting for their freedom and rights, MARUAH urges strongly that we cannot become witnesses to a blood bath in Myanmar. MARUAH asks for a deeper commitment, beyond the suggested meetings to seek negotiation and reconciliation with the Tatmadaw. We ask for a clear course of steps that underscore the unacceptability of this coup, the non-recognition of the Tatmadaw as the government and that economic partnerships be reviewed. To prevent an escalation into a civil war and to protect the people, we humbly make a call for governments, ASEAN and the UN, to:
- fundamentally, focus on protecting the people of Myanmar whose security and freedom are under threat;
- develop access routes on funding and prepare safe places as people are fleeing Myanmar to seek refuge in other countries;
- ask for information on prisoners and their release;
- ensure that people in Myanmar have an unfettered access to Internet and communication tools, with an understanding that social media platforms will suspend harbingers of ‘hate speeches’;
- reaffirm the principles of democracy and fair play as a rule of law and conduct as prescribed in the ASEAN Charter and United Nations Declaration of Human Rights;
- officially, not recognise the Tatmadaw as the government of Myanmar;
- institute a process for an interim government of multi-stakeholder representatives, including some military officials to be set up;
- institute a neutral and independent body of global experts on a fact-finding mission to ascertain if there was electoral fraudulence;
- appoint a UN Special Rapporteur to investigate and document the human rights situation in Myanmar;
- recommend UN bodies and International Criminal Court to issue an Inquiry on the Tatmadaw, based on charges of the coup d’etat and crimes against humanity;
- review the nature of investments made in Myanmar and abide by the principles of ethical investing, ethical business conduct, and put in place targeted sanctions against the military and their partners’ enterprises;
- impose an embargo on the arms trade into Myanmar;
- build on an alliance with China to be a partner in non-recognition of the military-led government of Myanmar.
Issued by MARUAH Singapore.
About MARUAH Singapore
We are a Singapore human rights NGO.
MARUAH means Dignity in Malay, Singapore’s national language. Human rights are all about maintaining, restoring and reclaiming one’s dignity at the individual, regional and international level.
We seek to:
- promote and raise awareness, knowledge and understanding of human rights and human rights and related issues at the national, regional and international levels, in Singapore, ASEAN and elsewhere
- provide a civil society perspective on human rights and related issues at the national, regional, and international levels
- advocate for and work towards the respect for and upholding of human rights in accordance with international and other norms
- foster national, regional, and international co-ordination and development of all activities in relation to human rights and related issues facilitate the education, participation and
- engagement of persons, groups and organisations in Singapore with respect to human rights and related issues.
MARUAH is also the Singapore focal point for the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism. The Working Group has national representatives from all of the founding Member States of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
The Working Group is an NGO officially recognised in the ASEAN Charter as a stakeholder in ASEAN.
3 February 2021
On 1 February, the armed forces of Myanmar (Tatmadaw), ostensibly acting on allegations of voter fraud in the general elections of 8 November 2020, detained numerous government officials, including State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and Union Election Commission (UEC) Chair U Hla Thein, as well as pro-democracy activists and politicians from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) and other parties.
The Tatmadaw subsequently announced that it would seize power, declare a one-year state of emergency, and install Vice-President and retired general U Myint Swe as acting president. It was also announced that new elections would be held after the state of emergency under a new election commission, which was later appointed on the night of 2 February.
The undersigned election or human rights monitoring organizations condemn the military coup in Myanmar and call for the immediate release of all detained politicians, government officials, and activists. The Tatmadaw must restore power to the civilian-led government, and seek redress of election-related complaints through the due process of law established under the 2008 Constitution.
Indeed, Myanmar’s Constitution and election laws provide a mechanism to resolve disputes in the form of election tribunals. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which has repeatedly made claims of vote rigging and irregularities in the recent general elections, has like any other stakeholder the legal right to formally contest election results. It certainly has done so, filing 174 complaints out of the 287 received by the UEC.
Election observers were looking forward to seeing all election-related complaints and potential evidence presented and addressed in tribunal proceedings. According to our information, the UEC was about to proceed with the appointment of election tribunals when the military intervened. Election dispute resolution is an integral part of any electoral process, which rests on the fundamental premise that all sides act in good faith.
Therefore, the Tatmadaw must back down from its coup attempt and instead engage in a peaceful and transparent election dispute resolution process. The road to a fully realized democracy is long and arduous, but it is important that all stakeholders commit to upholding and protecting democratic norms. A repeat of what transpired after the 1990 general elections would mark a stark return to authoritarianism and will not be accepted by the people of Myanmar and the international community.
- Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL)
- Association for Elections and Democracy (PERLUDEM), Indonesia
- Cambodian Human Rights Action Coalition (CHRAC)
- Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)
- Cambodian Institute for Democracy (CID)
- Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)
- Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL), Cambodia
- Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), Sri Lanka
- Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Sri Lanka
- Citizen Congress Watch (CCW), Taiwan
- Civil Network OPORA, Ukraine
- Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0), Malaysia
- Coalition of Cambodian Farmers Community (CCFC)
- Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL)
- East and Horn of Africa Election Observers Network (E-HORN)
- Elections Observation Group (ELOG), Kenya
- ENGAGE, Malaysia
- Free and Fair Election Forum (FEFA), Afghanistan
- Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), Pakistan
- General Election Observation Committee (GEOC)/Nepal Law Society
- Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM)
- Hong Kong Election Observation Project (HKEOP)
- Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA), Cambodia
- Independent Election Monitoring Committee (KIPP), Indonesia
- Jaringan Pendidikan Pemilih untuk Rakyat (JPPR), Indonesia
- Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), Philippines
- MARUAH (Working Group for ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, Singapore)
- Movement for Free & Fair Elections (MDDE), Sri Lanka
- National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), Philippines
- National Election Observation Committee (NEOC), Nepal
- National Election Watch Sierra Leone (NEWSL)
- Neutral & Impartial Committee for Free & Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC)
- Open Forum for Democracy Foundation (P-NET), Thailand
- People Center for Development and Peace (PDP-Center), Cambodia
- People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), Sri Lanka
- Pusat KOMAS, Malaysia
- Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
- Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (TACDB)
- Tindak Malaysia
- Transparency International Cambodia
- Transparency Maldives
- Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA)
- We Watch, Thailand
- West Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON)
- Women for Social Progress (WSP), Mongolia
- Youth Resource Development Program (YRDP), Cambodia
The Secretary-General strongly condemns the detention of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and other political leaders on the eve of the opening session of Myanmar’s new Parliament. He expresses his grave concern regarding the declaration of the transfer of all legislative, executive and judicial powers to the military. These developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar.
The 8 November 2020 general elections provide a strong mandate to the National League for Democracy (NLD), reflecting the clear will of the people of Myanmar to continue on the hard-won path of democratic reform. The Secretary-General urges the military leadership to respect the will of the people of Myanmar and adhere to democratic norms, with any differences to be resolved through peaceful dialogue. All leaders must act in the greater interest of Myanmar’s democratic reform, engaging in meaningful dialogue, refraining from violence and fully respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Secretary-General reaffirms the unwavering support of the United Nations to the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of democracy, peace, human rights and the rule of law.
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General