One year has passed since the military coup in Myanmar, where the military forcefully and violently took over the power and denied the election results of November 2020. The people of Myanmar have taken a clear stance towards the military, by actively showing their displeasure through peaceful protests and the civil disobedience movement. However, the response has been violent and deadly for many and continues to be. We urge the Swedish government and international community to push forward further sanctions into force.
The military has not been able to consolidate its power throughout the country which has led to increased use of violence. The consequences of this violence and violation of human rights have short- and long-term effects on the people of Myanmar in all aspects of life. Since the coup, 1557 people have been killed and 12219 arrested, and among these many children and youths. 530 children, youths, and young adults have been killed under the age of 29.¹ Internally displaced persons have increased, and almost half a million people have fled their homes since the coup.² The actual numbers represent only what is visible in statistics, which is extremely unfortunate and distressing to not know the full extent of the military violence on the civil population.
The international community should not legitimize the military and let them get impunity as they have for years such as the Rohingya genocide. Any type of business and recognition should immediately be ended and the international community such as the European Union and the United Nations should put pressure on the countries legitimizing the military. Platforms and recognition have been given to the military and they do not represent most of the people of Myanmar.
There have been international condemnations and sanctions implemented by various countries and international institutions and organizations. However, the sanctions have not been coordinated enough, several countries and international companies still have businesses intact with the military which allows them to benefit from the contracts and use the revenue to stay in power and continue to violate the freedom and rights of people. Recently the Swedish Burma Committee wrote a letter to the Swedish foreign minister with clear examples of sanctions that would affect the military’s ability to gain revenues from the businesses, we stand behind the recommendations³ put forth.
It is unfortunate that the UN has not implemented any type of resolution to sanction the perpetrators, for example, a coordinated weapon embargo, mere condemnations are not enough when people’s lives are at stake every moment. Therefore, it is important that the international community implement concrete actions directed to improve the situation. The EU and UN have a substantial role and responsibility in putting Myanmar and its people strive for democracy high on the agenda.
It is vital to reiterate that the international community can and should delegitimize, coordinate and target sanctions as well as hold the military accountable for their crimes.
We urge the Swedish government and the international community to:
- Actively put pressure on countries and companies to stop businesses with the military.
- Advocate for further targeted and coordinated sanctions from the EU.
- Push for an UN security council resolution to impose an arms embargo on the military.
- Not recognize the military as legitimate and not give recognition in different events and platforms.
- Demand and ensure special protection of children, youth, and democratic protestors in Myanmar.
- Hold the military accountable for their crimes against humanity.
LSU – The National Council of Swedish Youth Organisations
NYC – National Youth Congress
- AAPP,” what’s happening in Myanmar”, downloaded 16 February 2022, https://coup.aappb.org/
- UN NEWS, “Number of internally displaced in Myanmar doubles, to 800,000”, downloaded 11 February 2022,https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/02/1111812?utm_source=UN+News+-+Newsletter&utm_campaign=6610928e41-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2022_02_12_01_10&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fdbf1af606-6610928e41-107686841
- Svenska Burma Kommittén, ” Öppet brev: Sverige bör verka för nya EU-sanktioner mot Burmas militär, downloaded 23 december 2021, https://burmakommitten.org/oppet-brev-sverige-bor-verka-for-nya-eu-sanktioner-mot-burmas-militar/
Läget i Myanmar är fortsatt väldigt allvarligt. Militärregimen har gjort det näst intill omöjligt för civilsamhället att fortsätta verka.
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