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Growing Call For Federal Democracy In Myanmar


Growing
number of civil society networks for peace, health and human
rights from around the world are unifying their call for
federal democracy in Myanmar. In a joint statement
condemning the Coup d’état in Burma (after an online South
Asia Solidarity Forum for federal democracy in Myanmar),
over a hundred of these individuals, groups and networks
from South Asia and other parts of the world united in
solidarity with the people of Burma to strongly denounce the
military coup d’état on 1 February 2021.

There is a
unified call on the Burma Army to immediately cease all
forms of violence and human rights abuses against civilians
throughout the country; immediately withdraw troops back to
their barracks in all areas and reinstate the civilian
government; and immediately step down and enable the
drafting of a new, federal constitution. The joint statement
condemned the military for their actions during this coup
and longstanding blatant disregard for international human
rights standards. They continue to suppress and persecute
human rights defenders, activists, and ethnic and religious
communities.

The statement
supports all pro-democracy, civil society, and ethnic groups
against the military dictatorship. “Together with them we
reject the 2008 constitution, created in a deeply flawed
process and aimed to uphold military control.”

It
further calls upon “countries of South Asian Association
for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to condemn this coup d’état
and, instead of choosing economically motivated
non-interference, stand up for their commitment to uphold
international human rights standards.”

APPEAL TO UN
SECURITY COUNCIL

The joint statement
calls upon the United Nations Security Council to
unequivocally hold the Burma military to account, by
establishing a global arms embargo and sanctions on the
military regime and their cronies; and refer the situation
of Burma to the International Criminal Court (ICC), to
address decades of impunity for human rights abuses,
including genocide, crimes against humanity (including
sexual and gender-based violence) and war
crimes.

It calls upon the international
community to:

  • demand the protection of
    civilians, human rights defenders, civil society, democracy
    activists and those working for vulnerable populations in
    ethnic regions,
  • demonstrate their resolve through
    actions, protections, and standing together with the people
    of Burma and civil society groups to uphold democracy and
    human rights,
  • use cross-border channels to provide
    aid directly to conflict-affected
    communities,
  • demand that telecoms providers take a
    stand to provide safe, open channels of communications for
    the public, and,
  • demand sanctions against Myanmar
    military companies.

Herman Kumara
of National Fisheries Solidarity Movement of Sri
Lanka demanded that elected government be reinstated, and
civil, political, and economic rights of the people in Burma
be ensured.

Khin Cho Myint of Burma
Study Center stated that global solidarity is needed to take
serious action against military coup leaders and their
crimes. “Please support our return to democracy in
Burma.”

Cheatlom Ang of CamNature
Institute in Cambodia commented “We strongly support the
people of Burma to fight against military coup and call for
returning the power to people to reinstall civil government
for the country.”

Tahmina Rahman of
Bangladesh Apparels Workers Federation (BAWF) condemned the
military coup and called for “immediately withdrawing
troops back to their barracks in all areas and reinstate the
civilian government.”

Dr Sunilam,
former Member of Legislative Assembly and a senior social
justice activist with Kisan Sanghrash Samiti, Samajwadi
Samagam, India, said “We fought for restoration of
democracy against the military Junta but again they have
grabbed power. This time we need a permanent solution.”
Sustainable development and peace are rooted in democracy
and a just world order.

Prominent among those who have
endorsed this joint statement
are Debbie Stothard of ALTSEAN-Burma; Kay Thi Win of Asia
Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) and rights activist
from Myanmar; Lwin Lwin Thant, health rights activist from
Mandalay, Myanmar; Dr Sandeep Pandey, Ramon Magsaysay
Awardee and national Vice President, Socialist Party
(India); Arundhati Dhuru of National Alliance of People’s
Movements (NAPM) and a senior Narmada Bachao Andolan
activist; Prafulla Samantara, Goldman Environment Prize
Awardee and leader of Lok Shakti Abhiyan, India; Shobha
Shukla, founder CNS, India; Dakshitha Wickremarathne from
Sri Lanka; Professor Abdul Hameed Nayyar, peace activist and
noted researcher-physicist, Pakistan; Saeeda Diep, founder
of Institute for Peace and Secular Studies, Lahore,
Pakistan; Wali Haider, Roots for Equity/ Pakistan Kisan
Mazdoor Tahreek/ Asian Peasant Coalition; Dayasagar
Shrestha, National Campaign for Sustainable Development,
Nepal; Kalpana Acharya, senior journalist and Chief Editor
of Health TV Online, Nepal; Nurul Islam Hasib, senior
journalist of Bangladesh; Ankit Goyal, engineer and convener
of Eco-Socialist Front; Kyaw Minn Thant, UK; Zaw Zaw Han,
from EGG, Myanmar; Thu Ryain Shwe and Khaing Shwe Wah from
Myanmar; Soe Htet from Institute of Political and Civic
Engagement, Myanmar; Jyotsna Mohan, Asia Development
Alliance, India; Kyaw Kyaw Oo, Yangon Technological
University, Myanmar; Tirtha Prasad Saikia, North-East
Affected Area Development Society (NEADS), India; Pervez
Siddiqui, Films 4 Peace Foundation, Bangladesh; Mudit
Shukla, India; Shanta Laxmi Shrestha, Beyond Beijing
Committee (BBC), Nepal; Sai Aike Sam, iPACE, Myanmar; Bhupi
Ghimire, Volunteers Initiative Nepal, Nepal; Rokeya Kabir,
Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS), Bangladesh; Mange Ram
Adhana, Association For Promotion Sustainable Development,
India; Dr Ashok Rau, The Freedom Foundation Trust, India;
Keshav Kumar Sunam, Nepal; Parvati Sunam, Nepal; Dr Soe
Khaing Linn, Myanmar; William Nokrek, International Movement
Of Catholic Students (IMCS) Pax Romana, Asia Pacific,
Philippines; Dr Lubna Sarwath, noted
ecologist-environmentalist and leader of Socialist Party
(India), India; Andrew Samuel, Community Development
Services (CDS), Sri Lanka; Hana Clara Borrowman, UK; William
Baldwin, The Irrawaddy UK; Ravi Nitesh, Member- South Asian
Fraternity, Peace Activist, Freelance Writer, India; Akhtar
Ehtisham, Surgeon, USA; Hussain Latheef, Huvadhoo Aid,
Maldives; Anish Shrestha, Youth For Environment Education
And Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation), Nepal; Mona
Sabella, Palestine; Brijesh Kumar Rai, India; Ginny
Shrivastava, Single Women Network, India; Harsh Kapoor,
South Asia Citizens Web (sacw.net); Sanju
Singh Bishowkarma, Dalit Welfare Organisation, Nepal; Dolphy
Dsouza, Police Reforms Watch, India; Alejandro Fernandez,
CEJIL, Argentina; Matcha Phornin, Sangsan Anakot Yaowachon
Yaowachon Development Project, and V-Day Thailand; Prof
Apoorvanand, University of Delhi, India; Manju Kulapuram,
India; Ganesh V; Nurgul Djnaeva, Forum of women’s NGOs of
Kyrgyzstan; Rama Kant Rai, National Coalition for Education,
India; Shirin Akhter, Women with Disabilities Development
Foundation (WDDF), Bangladesh; Archit Taluka, IIM Ahmedabad,
India; Gulalai Ismail, Aware Girls, Pakistan; Tin Maung
Htwe, freelance health journalist, Myanmar; Amalendu
Upadhyaya, Hastakshep.com, India; Dineshwar Chaudhary,
Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environment Nepal (JVE NEPAL),
Nepal; Nukila Evanty, RIGHTS Foundation, Indonesia; Titi
Soentoro, Aksi for gender, social and ecological justice,
Indonesia; Beverly Longid, International Indigenous Peoples’
Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL);
Deewa Dela Cruz, Merdeka West Papua Support Network,
Philippines; Maisnam Korouhanba Luwang, Lawyers for Human
Rights, Manipur, India; Paul Belisario, ILPS Commission 10,
Philippines; Mamta Lukram, India; Corazon Valdez Fabros,
Philippines; Elmer Labog, KMU, Philippines; Kakay Tolentino,
Bai Indigenous Women’s Network in the Philippines; Dr
Shreekumar, Sangatya, India; Male Ningthouja, CPDM, India;
Madan Lal Hind, Samajwadi Jan Parishad, India; Severin
Sindizera, Indigenous Peoples Global Forum for Sustainable
Development, IPGFforSD, Burundi; Peter Murphy, Philippines
Australia Union Link, Australia; Harry Kerr, Pax Christi
Victoria, Australia; Bhakta Bishwakarma, Dalit NGO
Federation, Nepal; Ronalyn Olea, Bulatlat, Philippines; and
Chini Maya Majhi, National Indigenous Women’s Federation
(NIWF), Nepal.

Watch
the recording
.

Authored
by Constanze Ruprecht and Bobby Ramakant. Ruprecht and
Ramakant are civil rights and social justice activists, and
part of organizing team for solidarity forums for federal
democracy in
Myanmar.

© Scoop Media

 



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