London/Yangon – Sunday, February 28th saw the worst violence against protesters at the hands of the illegitimate military that overthrow a democratically elected government since 1st February. Dozens were injured and BHRN has verified 17 deaths of protesters who were shot with live ammunition in different cities around the country. In response, the International Community has issued several statements of concern but offered little in terms of action. While emergency action from the United Nations Security Council could be helpful, it remains unlikely any significant measures will pass due to veto power held by China and Russia. Further, the actions the Security Council could take would seem inadequate compared to the gross human rights violations of the Burmese Military. As the world scrambles to respond to the violence witnessed over the weekend, their first priority should be to support the protest inside of Burma, which is the only vehicle that change will truly come from.
“The international community is right to call for an arms embargo and sanctions on the Military and its businesses, but they must directly support the protests at the same time in order to successfully end the coup regime. The determination and courage of the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) is truly admirable and demands the direct support of the world. The movement needs more than words of support. It requires funding, logistical and technological support, and aid. The people of Burma are now essentially living with an antagonistic and violent occupying force rather than a government and have to depend on each other to survive and overcome this menace. The world must assist them in their efforts, which will prove successful through unity and longevity. Change in Burma will come from within, and it is the responsibility of the world to aid them in that process,” said BHRN’s Executive Director Kyaw Win.
The CDM has taken hold across cities all across Burma, with demonstrations growing every week. The international community, with or without the Security Council, should move to increase sanctions on the Burmese military and enact an arms embargo. The efforts by the international community must be done in consultation with the CDM and work to best produce change and limit the Tatmadaw’s ability to function as an occupying force. BHRN calls on all democratic nations to offer financial and technical support to the CDM while making clear to the Burmese Military that any harm to civilians will not be tolerated. Any inaction, or inadequate action, at this time will be seen by the junta as permission to continue to murder, torture, and imprison innocent civilians that peacefully oppose their occupation. There is unity, courage, and determination among the Burmese people now that is poised to overcome decades of tyranny. The world must do everything it can to ensure that they do.
Background on the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
BHRN is based in London and operates across Burma/Myanmar working for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in the country. BHRN has played a crucial role in advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
T: +44(0) 740 345 2378