Forces of Renewal Southeast Asia (FORSEA), a cross-national network of pro-democracy and pro-human rights scholars and activists, recognising that the elected Democratic leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi, are in detention and being kept incommunicado and recognising the urgent need for self-defence of the Burmese under violent siege by the military’s State Administrative Council (SAC) coup junta recognize Myanmar’s Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH, or Union Parliament) as the sole, legitimate representative of the country of Myanmar during the current crisis.
We fully support the CRPH’s noble mission of providing political and policy direction for the 54-million Myanmar peoples of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds in the latter’s liberation struggle against the military coup leaders.
We also endorse the CRPH’s political vision of rebuilding post-coup Myanmar as a federal democracy where all ethnic groups, including the Rohingya who have been subjected to genocide and crimes against humanity, enjoy the constitutionally guaranteed provisions of universal human rights, full and equal citizenship, ethnic group equality, freedom of religion, and the right to self-determination.
We call on the global civil society to extend their solidarity and offer this revolutionary body concrete support and assistance.
We strongly echo the CRPH’s condemnation of SAC’s murder, violence, unlawful detention, enforced disappearances, summary executions, destruction of properties, armed robbery, loot, theft, vandalism, murder by sniper, slaughtering unarmed protesters using live ammunition, sexual violence against 600 female activists in detention since the February coup spurred nationwide popular protests throughout the Southeast Asian nation.
These violent acts clearly intended to terrorise the civilian population are most certainly crimes against humanity under international law and support the CRPH’s official designation of the SAC junta as a “terrorist group” and we believe that they are behaving in a way that is no less terroristic than those committed by Boko Haram and Daesh (Islamic State) and other terrorist organizations.
We also support CRPH’s official calls to both the international community and the Myanmar public at home for
- A moratorium on all economic relations and transactions – as Japan and the Republic of Korea have done with their development aid and as the World Bank has done with its loans and grants as of 1 February;
- Nonpayment of any income taxes and utility bills;
- A freeze of all sovereign income of the Union of Myanmar held in CIMB Bank of Malaysia, Siam Commercial Bank of Thailand, OCBC Bank of Singapore, among others;
- The exercise by the Myanmar people of their right to self-defence against the coup forces; and
- The denial to the SAC junta of any domestic and international recognition.
Finally, we support the call by the country’s national minorities for the CRPH as the NLD-mandated body to chart a new path towards inclusive Democracy rather than a return to the ethnic majority Bama-dominated, Buddhist nationalist and state-centric majoritarian version of democracy which was formerly pursued by the NLD with catastrophic consequences for the entire 54-million Myanmar people.
Second, we support calls to declare null and void the widely rejected 2008 Constitution of, for and by the Tatmadaw or military and conversely, to adopt, as the interim blueprint for Myanmar’s democratization, a Federal Constitution drafted by national minorities;
Third, to support a policy of separating church/faith and state as religion, particularly Buddhism, has been used as an ideological tool for genocide and racial and religious discrimination;
Fourth, to raise in international fora and public communications the urgent need for addressing the emerging issues of sexua violence against female detainees, violence against and detention of underage youth, and the alleged acts of organ harvesting from young and healthy detainees and kidnapped protesters by the Tatmadaw troops;
Fifth, to expand the body and make it inclusive and representative of all marginalized and oppressed national minorities beyond the electoral majority such as Kachin, Karen, Mon, Rakhine, Rohingyas, Kayah, Shan, T’ang, and others; and
Sixth, to prioritize the full cooperation with supportive ethnic armed organizations (EAOs), which have more than half-century of first-hand experience in armed liberation struggles for self-determination, with the specific view towards establishing the Federal Army as the future replacement of the existing Tatmadaw.
Approved and adopted by consensus by the Board of Directors.
March 24, 2021