London/Yangon – Burma Human Rights Network is calling on the international community to take strong decisive actions in response to the Tatmadaw’s atrocious killing spree against civilians. On 27 March, in concert with Armed Forces Day, the regime brutally attacked the civilian population across the entire country. BHRN has documented at least 113 civilians killed on 27 March alone and 466 civilian deaths since the 1 February Coup. Among the dead on 27 March were women and children, including a five-year-old child. In addition to attacks on protesters, the Tatmadaw reportedly used fighter jets to bomb ethnic Karen villages in response to Ethnic Armed Organizations standing with the protests.
The international community must respond immediately with unified sanctions on Burma’s business interests, a global arms embargo, and the implementation of a no-fly-zone in the ethnic controlled conflict regions. A no-fly-zone can be implemented by the UN Security council and its use to protect civilians has precedent in its use in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Libya. The international community must do whatever it can to minimize the Tatmadaw’s firepower and ability to inflict serious harm on the civilian population.
“Every day the horror committed of the Burmese army gets worse as they become more desperate to cling to the power they stole from the people. The international community must respond immediately to end this nightmare for the Burmese people. The UN Security Council must take decisive action to implement sanctions on the Tatmadaw’s Business interests and launch a global arms embargo. If the UNSC is unable to do this because of vetoes from Russia or China, the US, UK, EU member states, and other nations in support of Burmese democracy and maintaining world order must act collectively outside of the UN. Every day of inaction by the international community will lead to more civilian deaths. How many more must die before we can see concrete action?” said BHRN’s Executive Director Kyaw Win.
In addition to the assault on protesters, the American Center in Yangon was attacked with gunfire on 27 March. This comes just days after the United States and the United Kingdom launched new sanctions on the Burmese military’s business interests. While no injuries were reported, this shows the disregard the Burmese security forces have for the life and safety of all, even in places that should be diplomatically protected. The US and its allies should be aware that as the situation in Burma further deteriorates, the safety of their citizens, staff, and interests will also be further at risk of the Tatmadaw’s mindless carnage.
The international community must consider all options as the situation worsens. A coalition of nations must act to sanction the Tatmadaw’s business interests, beginning with sanctions on Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited and Myanmar Economic Corporation, the two major military conglomerates in the country. Both entities are sanctioned by the US and the MEHL was sanctioned by the UK. The international community must act to launch and enforce a global arms embargo on the Tatmadaw to prevent them from obtaining weapons which they will use against civilians. Finally, the international community should implement a no-fly-zone in the ethnic controlled areas where conflict is ongoing to prevent the military from using fighter jets to kill civilians. The situation in Burma has reached a critical point where the support of the international community will be vital in preventing catastrophic events for the civilian population.
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