Seoul, South Korea
February 1, 2021
The Asia Democracy Network (ADN) condemns the Tatmadaw’s takeover of Myanmar’s government and the detention of democratically elected leaders and pro-democracy activists. Such actions, driven by contempt of democratic principles, tramples on the will of the people and effectively disregards the results of the November 2020 Elections. This action of the Tatmadaw effectively demolished efforts towards building a strong civilian government which was only established in 2015, and after almost 50 years of military rule in the country.
On February 1, 2021, worrying news from Myanmar relayed that the country’s de facto leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyii, President U Win Myint and several other leaders of the ruling party National League for Democracy (NLD), as well as notable pro-democracy activists have been detained in a series of early morning military raids. Internet and phone networks have also experienced disruptions, and state media remains to be off-air. At the same time, soldiers have been deployed across the streets of Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw.
The Tatmadaw (military), in recent months has been dissatisfied with the results of the country’s November 2020 election, which the NLD won in a landslide and the military proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) losing even more seats. Alleging widespread electoral fraud while offering little evidence, the military and USDP has been calling for a re-run. On January 27, tension further flared after Tatmadaw leader General Min Aung Hlaing told military officers that since the Constitution is not abided by, it may be “necessary” to revoke it. While a military spokesperson backpedaled on this threat by saying the General’s words were misinterpreted, the coup d’etat still came into fruition on February 1.
ADN calls on the international community to help the people of Myanmar to reestablish democratic governance, and free those democratically elected leaders and pro-democracy activists arrested by the military. We call on intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to urgently and more aggressively act in assisting to resolve this disturbing development in a severely divided society that is just starting to build the foundations of a civilian, democratic rule.
These contemptuous actions by the Tatmadaw against the people of Myanmar and the democratic governance they cherish should not be left disregarded. We call on the United Nations Security Council to convene and enforce sanctions against the Tatmadaw. We also call on like-minded pro-democracy states to raise their voices, act and advocate for justice for the people of Myanmar. The international community must ensure that Myanmar will return towards the path to democratization and not again fall back to the dark days of military rule.
Asia Democracy Network