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Joint Statement by the Civil Society Organizations of Myanmar and Cambodia Condemning Hun Sen’s Support of the Myanmar Military Junta

January 4th, 2022  •  Author:   Civil Society Organizations of Myanmar and Cambodia  •  12 minute read
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4 January 2022

We, the undersigned civil society organizations of Myanmar and Cambodia, strongly condemn Hun Sen for supporting the criminal military junta in Myanmar and demand an urgent coordinated international response to immediately halt the junta’s campaign of terror.

The Myanmar military junta has been using extreme violence to terrorize the people across the country since its attempted coup on 1 February 2021. The people of Myanmar continue to resist strongly, succeeding at pushing back the military junta who has failed to gain effective control of the country after eleven months. Yet, the junta continues to commit inhumane acts of violence especially in ethnic areas – amounting to crimes against humanity and war crimes.

As of today, 1,398 people have been killed, including at least 100 children and 11,328 people have been illegally detained according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Those in detention face torture, murder, and deprivation of food and water. Women have been raped and gang-raped inside and outside prison. Properties have been robbed and destroyed by junta soldiers. Since February, over 280,000 civilians have been internally displaced. Towns and villages have been burned or blown away by artillery shelling and airstrikes. Medical facilities and medical workers have been attacked. Humanitarian aid has been blocked and destroyed, unable to reach those desperately in need of assistance.

Recently on 24 December 2021, the junta arrested approximately 40 innocent villagers near Moso Village in the western part of Hpruso Township in Karenni State including women and children, put them in vehicles while their hands tied behind their backs and burned them alive. Similar massacres took place at Dontaw Village in Salingyi Township in Sagaing Region on 7 December, where 11 civilians were burned to death. Before this, the junta massacred at least 40 civilians over four different inhumane incidents in Kani Township, Sagaing Region in July.

While the atrocities were being committed in Karenni State, since 15 December, the terrorist junta has started shelling using heavy weaponry at Lay Kay Kaw and surrounding areas in Karen State and later with the use of airstrikes – jets bombing the area indiscriminately. This has displaced more than 10,000 innocent civilians, half of whom fled to Thailand to take refuge. Some Thai villagers also had to relocate, as some houses on the Thai side of the border were destroyed by the Myanmar junta’s artillery shelling.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new Hyatt Regency Hotel in Phnom Penh on 15 December 2021, Hun Sen publicly revealed that his highest priority in 2022 while Cambodia serves as chair of ASEAN is to support the return of Myanmar to fully functioning member of ASEAN under the illegal military junta. Hun Sen plans to visit Myanmar on 7 January 2022, for talks with the leader of the murderous junta, Min Aung Hlaing – a move that would only serve to embolden the military junta to continue their campaign of terror against the people of Myanmar. Hun Sen’s plan to act unilaterally in addressing the multidimensional crisis in Myanmar is utterly insufficient, as Hun Sen should know well from the Cambodian experience. Ending the Khmer Rouge required a concerted international and UN response, it was not left in the hands of only one man.

The escalating violence being committed by the junta against the people of Myanmar amounts to crimes against humanity and war crimes, amidst an ongoing genocide against the Rohingya since 2017. Hun Sen must not condone and applaud such inhumane acts and should know well of the pain and immense suffering of genocide on a nation, given the millions of Cambodian people who were victims and survivors of genocide committed by the tyrannical Khmer Rouge. Hun Sen must not lend legitimacy to the genocidal junta, and he must not forget the suffering of millions of Cambodians who faced genocide.

Hun Sen reiterated that a solution for Myanmar cannot be achieved without negotiating with those who are currently in power, but ultimately power lies with the people of Myanmar who have declared in the strongest terms that they have no desire to see negotiations with this criminal military junta who are committing atrocity crimes.

Hun Sen referenced the Civil Disobedience Movement and the National Unity Government of Myanmar as guerrilla fighters or shadow government. The people of Myanmar hereby declare in the strongest terms that they take the utmost exception to his references and take them as the worst insult possible.

While ASEAN’s decision in October 2021 to exclude junta leader Min Aung Hlaing from the annual regional summit was unprecedented and a step in the right direction, ASEAN must take further decisive steps to resolve the intensifying crisis in Myanmar. The recent incidents of extreme violence in Karen and Karenni States and Sagaing Region clearly show there must be an urgent and stronger coordinated international response.  We urge the UN, ASEAN, and international community at large to take concrete actions to end the junta’s campaign of terror against the people and hold them to account through international accountability mechanisms.

The root cause of the crisis in Myanmar is the military junta. It has caused not only immense suffering of the people of Myanmar but has also posed a threat to regional peace and stability. Hun Sen, ASEAN and the international community must realize that the Myanmar military junta has no genuine intention to comply with ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus and that ASEAN alone is ill-equipped to tackle the crisis in Myanmar.

ASEAN must recognize the legitimate government of Myanmar, the National Unity Government, work in coordination with the UN and the NUG and demand the military junta to immediately halt its terror campaign against the people. ASEAN’s credibility is at stake, and it must put effective pressure on the Myanmar military junta to end its relentless violence and support the people of Myanmar in their endeavor to establish a federal democracy.

In addition, ASEAN member states must cut all business ties with the Myanmar military junta and stop all programs and activities that lend legitimacy to the junta as these would be complicit in the junta’s crimes against humanity and war crimes.

ASEAN, as well as the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council, that has backed the ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus, must ensure that Hun Sen does not act alone in 2022 – lending legitimacy to the Myanmar military junta and further emboldening them to cause more harm to the people. This would be an insult to the people of Myanmar and Cambodia and further jeopardizing ASEAN’s already-diminishing credibility during the Cambodia tenure as chair of ASEAN in 2022. Human rights violations and atrocity crimes committed by Hun Sen and Min Aung Hlaing must be rectified and democracy and human rights must be restored to the peoples of Cambodia and Myanmar.

The people of Cambodia are in their own tireless struggle for full-fledged democracy and protection of human rights, currenting calling for free and fair elections in 2022. The people of Myanmar stand in solidarity with the people of Cambodia who want to overcome an oppressive authoritarian leader, who routinely denies and violates their human rights. The people of Myanmar categorically reject the terrorist military junta’s announced plan of elections in 2023 – just as they have been defiantly and categorically rejecting its bloody coup attempt for the past eleven months.

The undersigned CSOs from Myanmar declare in the strongest terms that Hun Sen is not welcome in Myanmar and the undersigned Cambodian CSOs declare that Hun Sen’s views are his own and do not represent the will of the Cambodian people.

For further information, please contact:

  • Aung Moe Win, Support the Democracy Movement in Burma, NYforBurmaDemocracy@gmail.com
  • Jan Jan Maran, Global Movement for Myanmar Democracy & US Advocacy Coalition for Myanmar, hmaran@gm4md.org
  • Tung Yap, Cambodian Americans for Human Rights and Democracy (CAHRAD), tung@cahrad.org
  • Wai Wai Nu, Women’s Peace Network, waiwainu@womenspeacenetwork.org

Signed by:

  1. Action Against Myanmar Military Coup (Sydney)
  2. Action Committee for Democracy Development
  3. All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress (AASYC)
  4. All Burma Student Democratic Front – Australia Branch
  5. All Burma Monks Alliance (ABMA)
  6. All Burma Monks’ Representative Committee (ABMRC)
  7. All Young Burmese League (AYBL)
  8. ALTSEAN-Burma
  9. Anti Dictatorship in Burma – DC Metro Area
  10. Anti-Myanmar Dictatorship Movement
  11. Anti-Myanmar Military Dictatorship Network (AMMDN)
  12. Arakan Rohingya Development Association – Australia Inc. (ARDA-Australia)
  13. Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO)
  14. Arakan Rohingya Union
  15. Artists Against Tyranny
  16. Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
  17. Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP)
  18. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters-HRDP
  19. Australia Burma Friendship Association, Northern Territory
  20. Australia Karen Organization WA Inc.
  21. Australia Myanmar DNF
  22. Australia Myanmar Youth Alliance (AMYA)
  23. Australian Burmese Muslim Organisation
  24. Australian Chin Community (Eastern Melbourne Inc)
  25. Australian Karen Organisation (AKO)
  26. Australian Karen Organisation (AKO) Queensland
  27. Bamar Community Tasmania
  28. Better Burmese Health Care
  29. Blood Money Campaign
  30. Boston Free Burma
  31. Burma Action Ireland
  32. Burma Campaign UK
  33. Burma Human Rights Network
  34. Burma Lawyers’ Council (BLC)
  35. Burma Task Force
  36. Burmese American Millennials
  37. Burmese Canadian Network
  38. Burmese Community (Australia)
  39. Burmese Community Development Collaboration (BCDC)
  40. Burmese Community Support Group-BCSG
  41. Burmese Friendship Association
  42. Burmese Medical Association Australia (BMAA)
  43. Burmese Rohingya Association in Japan ( BRAJ)
  44. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK)
  45. Burmese Rohingya Welfare Organization New Zealand
  46. Burmese Women’s Union
  47. Cambodian Americans and Friends for Democracy and Human Rights Advocates
  48. Cambodian Americans for Human Rights and Democracy (CAHRAD)
  49. Cambodian Australian Federation (CAF)
  50. Campaign for a New Myanmar
  51. Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative
  52. Canberra Karen Association
  53. Chin Community of Western Australia Inc.
  54. Chin Community SA (Australia)
  55. Chin Community Tasmania
  56. Chin Leaders of Tomorrow
  57. Chin Youth Organization
  58. Citizens of Burma Award (New Zealand)
  59. CRPH Funding Ireland
  60. CRPH/NUG Support Group Australia
  61. CRPH-NUG Supporters (Ireland)
  62. Democracy for Burma
  63. Democracy for Ethnic Minorities Organization
  64. Democracy, Peace and Women’s Organization -DPW
  65. Democratic Youth Council
  66. Equality Myanmar (EQMM)
  67. European Karen Network (EKN)
  68. European Rohingya Council (ERC)
  69. Falam Community
  70. Federal Myanmar Benevolence Group
  71. Foundation of Khmer Samaki (FKSamaki)
  72. Free Burma Coalition- Philippines
  73. Freedom for Burma
  74. Free Myanmar
  75. Free Myanmar Campaign USA (Indianapolis, IN)
  76. Free Rohingya Coalition
  77. Freedom Justice Equality for Myanmar
  78. Future Light Center
  79. Future Thanlwin
  80. General Strike Collaboration Committee (GSCC)
  81. Global Movement for Myanmar Democracy (GM4MD)
  82. Global Myanmar Spring Revolution
  83. Human Rights Foundation of Monland
  84. Industrial Training Centre (ITC) Family Sydney
  85. The Institution of Professional Engineers Myanmar
  86. International Campaign for the Rohingya
  87. International Society of Myanmar Scholars and Professionals
  88. John VI Film
  89. Joint Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (JACDB)
  90. Justice For Myanmar
  91. Kachin Association Australia
  92. Kachin Association of Australia WA Inc.
  93. Kachin National Organization USA
  94. Karen Community (Australia)
  95. Karen Community Association UK
  96. Karen Environment and Social Action Network
  97. Karen Organization of America
  98. Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN)
  99. Karen Swedish Community (KSC)
  100. Karen Women’s Organization (KWO)
  101. Karenni Federation of Australia
  102. Karenni Human Rights Group
  103. Karenni/Kayah Community (Australia)
  104. Karenni National Women’s Organization (KNWO)
  105. Kayin Community Tasmania
  106. Keng Tung Youth
  107. Khmer Alliance Foundation
  108. Khmer Association of Hampton Road Virginia (KAHRV)
  109. Khmer People Network for Cambodia (KPNC)
  110. La Communauté Birmane de France
  111. Listen Up Myanmar
  112. Los Angeles Myanmar Movement-LA2M
  113. LGBT Alliance-Myanmar
  114. Matu Chin Community (Austalia)
  115. Me Boun Foundation
  116. Metta Campaign Mandalay
  117. Mindat Chin Community NSW
  118. Mindat Community (Australia)
  119. Mizo Community (Australia)
  120. Mon Families Group (Australia)
  121. Mon National Council (Australia)
  122. Myanmar Buddhist Community of South Australia
  123. Myanmar Community Coffs Harbour, Australia (MCC)
  124. Myanmar Democracy and Peace Committee (Australia)
  125. Myanmar Democratic Movement (MDM)
  126. Myanmar Development Foundation
  127. Myanmar Engineering Association of Australia (MEAA)
  128. Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia ( MERHROM )
  129. Myanmar Family Community Ireland
  130. Myanmar Global Support Foundation (General Incorporated Association)
  131. Myanmar Muslim Association Netherland
  132. Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)
  133. Myanmar People Residing in Canberra
  134. Myanmar Professionals Association Australia (MPAA)
  135. Myanmar Students’ Association Australia (MSAA)
  136. Myanmar Queer Straight Alliance
  137. Network for Human Rights Documentation Burma (ND-Burma)
  138. NLD Solidarity Association (Australia)
  139. No Business With Genocide
  140. Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica
  141. Olive Organization
  142. People’s Hope Spring Revolution
  143. Perth Myanmar Youth Network
  144. Pro Démocratie pour le Cambodge du Canada (PDCC)
  145. Progressive Voice
  146. PWVB (Patriotic War Veterans of Burma)
  147. Queensland Kachin Community (QKC)
  148. Queensland Myanmar Youth Collective (QMYC)
  149. Queensland Rohingya Community
  150. Red Campaign Nirvana Exhortation Group
  151. Remonya Association of WA (Mon Community)
  152. Rohingya Action Ireland
  153. Rohingya Human Rights Network
  154. Rohingya Women Development Network
  155. Rohingya Youth Association (RYA)
  156. Save and Care Organization for Ethnic Women at Border Areas
  157. Save Myanmar (San Francisco)
  158. Save Myanmar (USA)
  159. Shan MATA
  160. ShizuYouth for Myanmar
  161. Shwe Youth Democratic Alliance (SYDA)
  162. Sisters 2 Sisters
  163. Sitt Nyein Pann Foundation
  164. Students For Free Burma (SFB)
  165. Southcare Medical Centre
  166. Southern Youth Development Organization
  167. Support for Myanmar
  168. Support Group for Democracy in Myanmar (Netherlands)
  169. Support the Democracy Movement in Burma (SDMB)
  170. Swedish Burma Committee
  171. Swedish Rohingya Association (SRA)
  172. Sydney Friends for Myanmar Unity
  173. Ta’ang Women’s Organization
  174. Ta’ang Legal Aid
  175. Tanintharyi MATA
  176. Thint Myat Lo Thu Myar
  177. Union of Karenni State Youth
  178. United Myanmar Community of South Australia
  179. US Advocacy Coalition for Myanmar
  180. US Campaign for Burma
  181. Victorian Burmese Care Community (VBCC)
  182. Victorian Myanmar Youth
  183. We love Myanmar
  184. We Pledge CDM (Australia)
  185. Western Australia Myanmar Democratic Network
  186. Women Activists Myanmar (WAM)
  187. Women Advocacy Coalition  – Myanmar (WAC-M)
  188. Women’s League of Burma
  189. Women’s Peace Network
  190. Yadanar Foundation
  191. Yangon Medical Network
  192. Zo Community (Australia)
  193. Zomi Association Australia Inc.
  194. Zomi Community South Australia
  195. Zomi Community Queensland

Supported by:

  • ANAKBAYAN Daly City
  • ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)
  • Asia Democracy Network
  • Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition
  • Association for the Advancement of Freedom of Religion or Belief in Vietnam (AAFORB-VN)
  • Blasian March
  • Boat People SOS
  • Campaign Committee for Human Rights (CCHR)
  • Campaign for Popular Democracy (CPD)
  • Clarity & Decency
  • Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA)
  • Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam
  • Initiatives for International Dialogue
  • Justice for All
  • League of Filipino Students SFSU
  • Milk Tea Alliance
  • Nguyen Van Ly Foundation
  • Peace and Human Rights Resource Center (PHRC)
  • The Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD)
  • Resist US-Led War
  • Spirit in Education Movement (SEM)
  • Vietnam Coalition Against Torture

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