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Press Statement: Myanmar Spring’s young revolutionaries meet with the Head of the Special Envoy Office on Myanmar and express concern over ASEAN’s continued failure to address Myanmar crisis

July 7th, 2023  •  Author:   Myanmar Spring’s Young Revolutionaries  •  7 minute read
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7 July 2023

Press Statement: Myanmar Spring’s young revolutionaries meet with the Head of the Special Envoy Office on Myanmar and express concern over ASEAN’s continued failure to address Myanmar crisis

On 3 July 2023, Myanmar Spring’s young revolutionaries met with the Head of Special Envoy Office on Myanmar, H.E. Ambassador Ngurah Swajaya.

The Myanmar young revolutionaries in attendance consisted of 26 youth who represent a number of organizations, networks and coalitions with diverse revolutionary backgrounds, such as strike committees and armed resistance organizations, which were formed during the Spring Revolution, as well as ethnic youth organizations, unions and networks, and civil society organizations working on ethnic equality and self-determination, democracy, human rights, justice and accountability, and humanitarian issues since prior to the Spring Revolution.

During the meeting, the representatives expressed their concern and frustration over the ineffectiveness and failure of ASEAN to stop the terrorist military junta’s violence and atrocities against Myanmar people over the past two years since the adoption of the Five-Point Consensus (5PC) on 24 April 2021. They raised that the continuation of the ineffective 5PC will only embolden the terrorist junta to commit further crimes and exacerbate the plight of the people of Myanmar.

The representatives also provided updates of the ground situation relating to ongoing human rights violations and atrocity crimes committed by the terrorist military against the people across Myanmar, using airstrikes, artillery shelling, burning down of villages, and extrajudicial killings. They underlined that these crimes committed by the illegal military junta over the past 29 months since its failed coup attempt amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity under international human rights law and the Geneva Conventions. They further stressed that the severity and the escalation of these crimes are clear evidence of the Myanmar military junta disregarding and undermining the 5PC and ASEAN’s credibility.

The representatives expressed that the role of the Special Envoy (SE) in dealing with Myanmar’s intensifying crisis has proven impractical and ineffective. The mandate’s one year timeframe with the rotating ASEAN chairship is far too short to formulate and execute the work plan to address the crisis in Myanmar, thus it falls short of an effectual and strategic model. They also pointed out that the Special Envoy’s official engagement with the illegal military junta is inconsistent with ASEAN’s decision and stance to exclude and ban members of the military junta from all high-level ASEAN meetings. On the other hand, the ASEAN Special Envoy has yet to establish official communication and engagement channels with Myanmar’s legitimate government, the National Unity Government (NUG), the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), Ethnic Revolutionary Organizations (EROs), the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), other forces of Myanmar’s Spring Revolution, and civil society organizations (CSOs).

In relation to humanitarian aid provision, the representatives urged ASEAN not to partner with or channel humanitarian assistance through the Myanmar military junta, the root cause of Myanmar’s crisis, because it has consistently weaponized and blocked aid from reaching people who are in direst need. They reiterated the urgent need for ASEAN to commit to partnering with the NUG, the NUCC and the EROs, and to provide support directly to local civil society organizations which have already been effectively providing humanitarian aid to communities in acute needs, including through cross-border channels.

The representatives also shared with Head of the SE Office how young people in Myanmar are making immense efforts and contributions to the Spring Revolution and to establish federal democracy. These actions include initiation of and participation in political defiance actions, engagement in armed resistance movement, participation in constitution drafting process, provision of health and education services, humanitarian assistance and essential supplies to communities in need, documentation of human rights violations, ensuring women’s participation in all decision-making processes, participation in environmental movement, and amplifying people’s voices from the ground.

In the meeting, the Myanmar Spring’s Young Revolutionaries presented their Five-Point Political Roadmap for a new federal democratic Myanmar as follows:

  1. To eradicate all forms of dictatorship, including military dictatorship, and transition to federal democracy with justice and accountability;
  2. To release all political prisoners, and support the Civil Disobedience Movement;
  3. To completely abrogate the 2008 Constitution;
  4. To build the Federal Democratic Union of Myanmar:
    1. To draft and adopt a federal constitution;
    2. To establish state constitutions and state governments with full autonomy and self-determination to oversee matters within respective states;
    3. To repeal the 1982 Citizenship Law that prevents minorities, such as the Rohingya, to obtain citizenship;
    4. To guarantee the military restrains from any involvement in future politics; and
  5. To oppose chauvinism:
    1. To fight and eradicate all forms of oppression including those based on cultures, faiths, and sexual orientations;
    2. To value and respect diversity;
    3. To support the rise of younger generations to positions of leadership; and
    4. To empower women and advance equality among all;

The representatives also proposed the following recommendations to ASEAN:

  1. To establish a dedicated unit within ASEAN to specifically address the crisis in Myanmar through direct engagement, discussions, interviews, and analyses with all key stakeholders of the Spring Revolution (This unit’s duration should not be limited to the rotating ASEAN chairship);
  2. To coordinate and collaborate closely with the United Nations to formulate effective and concrete solutions to address the crisis in Myanmar;
  3. To designate the military junta as a terrorist organization, ensure they are removed from any ASEAN meetings and mechanisms, and treat them as an illegal entity;
  4. To strongly encourage ASEAN Member States to cease all cooperation with the terrorist military;
  5. To facilitate official meetings and engagements, as well as foster formal and constructive relationships with the NUCC and Myanmar’s legitimate government, the NUG, the EROs, and the Spring Revolutionary forces;
  6. To move beyond the ASEAN’s 5PC and adopt the Five Counter Points proposed by civil society to ASEAN in May 2023;
  7. To collaborate with the Spring Revolution forces to directly deliver humanitarian assistance to affected people, particularly internally displaced persons (IDPs) and victims and survivors of human rights violations, including through cross-border channels;
  8. To prevent the terrorist military from conducting illegal general elections that serve as a cover-up political event in an attempt to transition to “normalcy,” reject any potential activities of the terrorist military to claim legitimacy through its illegal elections, and ensure that only democratic political events take place and are acknowledged at regional and international levels;
  9. To collaborate and cooperate all necessary international and domestic measures, including concerted sanctions, and prevent the supply chain of arms, ammunition, and jet fuel to the military junta; and
  10. To assert ASEAN’s authority as an independent regional organization and resist any internal or external influence or manipulation when addressing the crisis in Myanmar, and act with impartiality and independence and without succumbing to pressure.

Lastly, the representatives expressed appreciation to the Head of the SE Office on Myanmar for meeting with them and listening to their aspirations and efforts for their country as well as urgent concerns. They appreciated the efforts made by Indonesia, welcomed the productive exchange with his excellency, and expressed their willingness to continue their engagement with the view to collaborate with the SE Office in its efforts to address the crisis in Myanmar.

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The organizations, networks and coalitions the representatives are including the followings:

  1. Bamar People’s Liberation Army (BPLA)
  2. Chin Students’ Union of Myanmar
  3. General Strike Collaboration Committee (GSCC)
  4. General Strike Committee (GSC)
  5. General Strike Committee of Nationalities (GSCN)
  6. General Strike Coordination Body (GSCB)
  7. Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM)
  8. Kachin State Civilian Movement (KSCM)
  9. Karen Student Network Group (KSNG)
  10. Karen Youth Organization (KYO)
  11. Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF)
  12. Myaung Women Warriors
  13. Pa-O Youth Organization (PYO)
  14. Sagaing Forum
  15. Union of Karenni State Youth (UKSY)

The meeting was organized by youth members of the following organizations:

  1. Action Committee for Democracy Development (ACDD)
  2. Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
  3. Equality Myanmar (EQMM)
  4. Generation Wave (GW)
  5. Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
  6. Kayan Women’s Organization (KyWO)
  7. Progressive Voice (PV)

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