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Support Myanmar
February 25
11:09 2021

Hundreds of demonstrators were hurt and two died of bullet wounds when police fired on them last week in Myitkyina, Myanmar’s northern town. The demonstrations seen are larger every day, across Myanmar, demanding the army return power to democratically elected NLD government. The army continues to arrest leaders and activists who are demonstrating, and Aung San Suu Kyi and the former President remain under detention at undisclosed locations.

The US has imposed strict sanctions against families of the ruling Generals, which might not be enough for them to relinquish power. In a recent statement by Joe Biden, aimed particularly at China, arguing that democracies around the world must come together to shape the rules. He said, “We have to push against the Chinese government’s economic abuses and coercion that undercut the foundations of the international economic system.” The case in point is Myanmar, where China as its largest trading partner, is using every possible way to bring Myanmar under a debt trap. According to Myanmar observers, the recent coup would not have been possible without China’s support.

By and large the current demonstrations have been peaceful so far, unlike the ones in the past. The people of Myanmar have voted for democratic government three times and each time the army has taken control and suppressed aspirations of the people’s mandate. It is time world leaders come together, as sanctions against military rulers have not worked in the past and global leaders may have to take tougher action including military intervention if need be. Taking cues from the past the army is certain to circumvent or change rules to suppress the democratically elected leaders yet again.

Britain is also considering further action against those involved in violence against people’s peaceful protests against the coup, said Foreign Minister Dominic Raab. EU, Vice President Joseph Borrell and Singapore have also joined-in to denounce the violence against peaceful demonstrators.

The world is anxiously watching what sanctions UN may impose besides the lip service delivered. The time has come for global support to the citizens of Myanmar against atrocities being conducted by the military rulers over the last 50 years. Things appeared to have taken a turn for the better during last few years but suddenly it is turned back to square one.

United States and other democratic governments must support and take urgent actions to put pressure to have the army return to barracks where they belong, and help the democratically elected leaders to restore civilian government. Such action in Myanmar could set the precedent for other democracies in the region. To stop China’s expansionist policy in South East Asia, this could change as to how they will proceed economically and militarily.

China’s grip in Myanmar is almost total but the Burmese people historically resent the Chinese. An old saying in Burmese, “Tayuk Ka phi, Shan Ga Eyi, shi Det Bama, A Nawk Maa”, translated — Chinese will press, Shan tribes in the north will be crushed and remaining Burmese people will disappear. The old proverb might come true unless the world helps and supports with the restoration of democracy in Myanmar.



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