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:
The representatives also proposed the following recommendations to ASEAN:
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:
The meeting was organized by youth members of the following organizations: