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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/14/21

Growing call for federal democracy in Myanmar

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Constanze Ruprecht and Bobby Ramakant

Respecting people's voice, ending military coup, and enabling fair democratic process is necessary in Myanmar
Respecting people's voice, ending military coup, and enabling fair democratic process is necessary in Myanmar
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[watch the recording, endorse the joint statement condemning the Coup d'e'tat in Burma] Growing number of civil society networks for peace, health and human rights from around the world are unifying their call for federal democracy in Myanmar. In a joint statement condemning the Coup d'e'tat in Burma (after an online South Asia Solidarity Forum for federal democracy in Myanmar), over a hundred of these individuals, groups and networks from South Asia and other parts of the world united in solidarity with the people of Burma to strongly denounce the military coup d'e'tat on 1 February 2021.

There is a unified call on the Burma Army to immediately cease all forms of violence and human rights abuses against civilians throughout the country; immediately withdraw troops back to their barracks in all areas and reinstate the civilian government; and immediately step down and enable the drafting of a new, federal constitution. The joint statement condemned the military for their actions during this coup and longstanding blatant disregard for international human rights standards. They continue to suppress and persecute human rights defenders, activists, and ethnic and religious communities.

The statement supports all pro-democracy, civil society, and ethnic groups against the military dictatorship. "Together with them we reject the 2008 constitution, created in a deeply flawed process and aimed to uphold military control."

It further calls upon "countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to condemn this coup d'e'tat and, instead of choosing economically motivated non-interference, stand up for their commitment to uphold international human rights standards."

Appeal to UN Security Council

The joint statement calls upon the United Nations Security Council to unequivocally hold the Burma military to account, by establishing a global arms embargo and sanctions on the military regime and their cronies; and refer the situation of Burma to the International Criminal Court (ICC), to address decades of impunity for human rights abuses, including genocide, crimes against humanity (including sexual and gender-based violence) and war crimes.

It calls upon the international community to:

  • demand the protection of civilians, human rights defenders, civil society, democracy activists and those working for vulnerable populations in ethnic regions,
  • demonstrate their resolve through actions, protections, and standing together with the people of Burma and civil society groups to uphold democracy and human rights,
  • use cross-border channels to provide aid directly to conflict-affected communities,
  • demand that telecoms providers take a stand to provide safe, open channels of communications for the public, and,
  • demand sanctions against Myanmar military companies.

Herman Kumara of National Fisheries Solidarity Movement of Sri Lanka demanded that elected government be reinstated, and civil, political, and economic rights of the people in Burma be ensured.

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