Home Myanmar Watch Two-year anniversary of the attempted coup in Myanmar

Two-year anniversary of the attempted coup in Myanmar

In memory of Angel, the young Myanmarese protester killed - DR WONG SOAK KOON/ALIRAN

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Two years since the Burmese military’s attempted coup, over five years since its 2017 attacks of genocide, and after its decades of atrocities against our communities, we, Women’s Peace Network, are conflicted with speechless tragedy and rage.

The military remains free to brutalise the entire country even after murdering nearly 3,000 civilians, arbitrarily arresting and detaining over 17,000, and torturing hundreds of thousands more in only two years. Its forces are escalating its air strikes and use of heavy weapons in Chin state, Sagaing region, Karen state, Kachin state, Arakan and many other areas where our communities reside.

Both in these areas and in nationwide prisons and interrogation centers, the patriarchal and misogynistic military is targeting women and girls with the most brutal forms of sexual violence.

The Rohingya are now facing a growing risk of the military’s genocidal attacks: over the past two years, the junta has issued and reissued policies and restrictions to arrest and detain at least 2,700 Rohingya, including over 800 women.

Combined, these atrocities are forcing hundreds of thousands of civilians to flee for safety. They currently join the over one million internally displaced people and refugees who have long been denied their sustainable and voluntary return home, and now face tightening access to basic needs and livelihoods.

In Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Thailand and other countries across South and Southeast Asia, a growing number of these refugees are being subjected to arrest, detention, or forced deportation. A slow, painful death confronts all of them, many of whom have had no choice but to escape grave rights violations by facing human trafficking and other life-threatening abuses, across lands and seas.

READ MORE:  Rohingya genocide remembrance day: International community must act

Yet, we try our best to hope. That is indeed the only way we can persist in our resilient fight for our federally democratic future, where Rohingya and all other historically marginalised communities can achieve justice, peace, freedom and equal rights.

We are thus encouraged that our calls for this future are now being met with greater action for justice and accountability compared to the year following, and the decades prior to, the attempted coup.

The EU’s sanctions on the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise in February 2022, the US’ official recognition of the Rohingya genocide and passage of the Burma Act, the International Court of Justice’s rejection of The Gambia v Myanmar’s preliminary objections, and Canada’s ban on the Burmese military’s jet fuel supply as the first ever jurisdiction to do so are a few of the many actions that have strengthened our movement.

The Ukrainian people, whose lives are being brutalised by Putin’s murderous regime, also continue to inspire us with hope: hope that governments and international organisations will finally have the political will to pursue concrete, concerted and comprehensive actions for all the people in Myanmar and across the world.

Therefore, following the second anniversary of the attempted coup, we urge the international community to pursue measures beyond Asean’s five-point consensus. These measures should instead include an end to all arms sales to the Burmese military, economic sanctions against the military and its related businesses, and serious penalties against companies engaging with the junta.

Though these measures can be issued unilaterally or multilaterally, the UN Security Council in particular should uphold its mandate – as well as the responsibility to protect (R2P) agenda and the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda – to issue them as a way to bolster its historic Resolution 2669 in 2022.

READ MORE:  UN expert exposes $1bn 'death trade' to Myanmar military

Governments should also support ongoing justice initiatives, such as by assisting the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, and explore universal jurisdiction and other related opportunities to prosecute the military for its international crimes.

Additionally, the international community must ensure reliable access to basic needs and livelihoods, as well as safety and protection, to all those who were forced to flee their homes in Myanmar. Governments and international organisations should provide sustainable financial and material assistance to these communities, especially women, youths, and their civil society.

Myanmar’s neighbouring countries in particular should guarantee cross-border aid to assist those forcibly displaced. The host countries of these refugees must also comprehensively protect them rather than subjecting them to arrest, detention or forced deportation.

Above all, instead of engaging with the perpetrators of the ongoing human rights and humanitarian catastrophe in Myanmar, the international community must consult with the country’s people, especially ethnic minorities of the pro-democracy movement, in all discussions related to their federally democratic future.

Today is the day on which the world must commit to a radical transformation in its approach to Myanmar, in order to finally end the country’s exacerbating human rights and humanitarian catastrophe. No people of the world should have to prepare themselves for another year without justice, peace or freedom. – Women’s Peace Network

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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