I do not have the moral or intellectual option of telling those on the ground who risk their lives and livelihoods that their resistance is futile. Nor do I share the view that resistance is futile or that another world is not possible. History does not change through normal politics. What Myanmar and her people are undergoing is nothing less than a textbook example of Revolution.
I never thought I would feel proud again as a Burmese who deeply cares about my country’s affairs. Today I hold my head high, whatever the immediate and short-term outcome of this revolution. This is unparalleled in Burmese history over the last 100 years since the first political strike against British colonial education in 1920.
While the ongoing confrontation between Myanmar society and the criminal junta negatively impacts Myanmar’s economy, China is also responsible. Its short-sighted, human-rights-indifferent approach to pursuing its interests, is further aggravating the economic and political conditions with potentially dire consequences for all.
We as global citizens, with the set bunch of rights and global responsibilities that come within, condemn all the actions of the military junta, which has now become a group of terrorists. An Immediate response is needed because the world is watching.
Putu Oka Sukanta, a well known literary figure in Indonesia, dedicates a poem to the people of Myanmar who are struggling for democracy and human rights. The work is presented in English – translated by Gulah Wandita – and its original Bahasa Indonesia.
Myanmar today has become a textbook example of failed and collapsed state with the national armed forces, having morphed into gangs of heavily armed terrorists, still commanding the air force and navy. Myanmar’s military regime should no longer be treated as a state actor. They are terrorists, no less.
Military dictatorships are not as common as they were during the Cold War. Today, leaders trying to roll back democracy usually do so in creeping ways, by altering legal systems, voting rules and other institutions to give themselves greater power. And yet coups have not only lingered; they’ve become more effective in the past decade.
Japan’s rivalry with China reinforces Tokyo’s inclination to avert its eyes from human rights abuses, electoral fraud, corruption and suppression of fundamental freedoms. Tokyo is not opposed to liberal democracy but also not prepared to risk anything to support it.
The struggle for racial, political and economic justice in Southeast Asia is a fight for a genuinely postcolonial condition, and its establishment is implied in each protest against authoritarian ambitions. If colonialism made the modern world, then decolonisation will not be complete until the world – including Southeast Asia – is reimagined.
FORSEA Supports Joint Statement on Myanmar by Myanmar National Human Rights Commission and Progressive Voice
People from the whole country who are taking part in peaceful demonstrations are facing violations of their basic human rights. This includes arbitrary arrests and charges, threats, the use of indiscriminate violence such as intentionally shooting into the crowd, beatings, the use of weapons, rubber bullets and water cannons, and restrictions on their freedom of expression.