April 20, 2021

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Myanmar Unrest: Burma may fall into long-term turmoil and move towards civil war


Since the military coup on February 1, protests against the military government have continued throughout Myanmar. (AFP)

Since the military coup on February 1, protests against the military government have continued throughout Myanmar.

Since the military coup on February 1, anti-military government demonstrations have continued throughout Myanmar, and the military’s bloody suppression has continued to escalate. So far, more than 550 people have been killed, including 50 children, and more than 3,000 people have been arrested. The death toll continues. rise.

The military government’s approach to demonstrators has also become tougher. Myanmar has fallen into long-term turmoil and its future is not optimistic. More civil servants’ strikes have joined the demonstrations, resulting in stagnation of government departments; however, it has been affected by protests, workers’ strikes, and poor transportation and logistics. As a result, Myanmar’s economic activities have basically ceased, and people’s livelihoods are in trouble. The World Bank recently predicted that Myanmar’s economy will decline by 10% this year.

The Chinese-language media in Myanmar reported on March 25 that the people had spontaneously set up a “civic armed forces” organization to resist the military government by means of armed struggle, which means that Myanmar may move into civil war. The Citizens Armed Forces proposed five goals, including the disintegration of military and political rule, the overthrow of bureaucracies, the organization of a democratic government, the unconditional release of all political prisoners, and the unification of the Federation.

This is a new situation that has emerged since the military coup in Myanmar more than two months ago, and it is worrying. The Citizen’s Armed Forces has stated that if federal democracy cannot be truly realized, they will revolt in armed forces and, if necessary, will cooperate with ethnic armed groups to fight for federal democracy.

Since the 1950s, there have been many armed groups in Myanmar, most of which are composed of ethnic minorities, fighting to resist the military government’s rule or seeking independence. Nowadays, the current situation has changed. Some armed groups have declared a ceasefire and cooperated with the military government Reach an agreement. If the political situation in Myanmar deteriorates, it may prompt the rebel armed groups to unite, which is bound to pose a threat to the Myanmar military government.

In the early morning of February 1, the Myanmar military detained several senior officials of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) such as State Counsellor Aung San Suk Chi and President Win Myint. Myanmar has since fallen into turmoil. The international community can only call on the military to maintain Restraint, but unable to take any substantive action. Judging from the current situation, the non-retreating military government has no measures to ease the situation. The continuing civil unrest has made regional countries worry that Myanmar will become the next Syria, Somalia or Iraq.

After Aung San Sook Chi’s NLD government was disbanded by the military government, some people fled to the bases of ethnic armed organizations to seek refuge. These armed organizations will regard this as an agreement with the future democratically elected government in exchange for granting greater support to ethnic minorities in the future. Opportunity for autonomy.

The civilian armed forces spontaneously established by the Burmese civilians will only aggravate the unrest in Burma. Once the situation becomes uncontrollable and a civil war breaks out, it will bring greater disaster to this Asian Minority member state and make the Burmese economy even worse. The Burmese people will ultimately suffer.

On March 27th, Military Day, Myanmar’s security forces brutally suppressed protesters across the country, causing 141 deaths, including children, the most deadly day since the coup d’état. On the evening of the 27th, the United States and other 12 defense chiefs issued a rare joint statement condemning the killing of civilians by the Myanmar military. UN Secretary-General Guterres also condemned the military’s indiscriminate killing of civilians in the strongest way, saying that the military’s actions were “absolutely unacceptable”. , He called for a global unity to put pressure on the Burmese military government.

In the UN Special Report on Human Rights in Myanmar, it was also described that the army was carrying out a “mass slaughter.” The UN Security Council issued a joint statement strongly condemning the military’s use of violence against peaceful demonstrators. However, the condemnation is condemned, but there is nothing to do with the violent suppression of the Myanmar military. In dealing with the crisis in Myanmar, the international community has very limited options.

The United States has imposed economic sanctions on Myanmar after the military coup. Last Monday, it suspended the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement signed with Myanmar in 2013 until Myanmar resumed democratic elections. This means that Myanmar will not be able to enjoy U.S. grants. Duty-free concessions for some imported products from developing countries. The U.S. government also withdrew non-essential U.S. government employees and their families in Myanmar last Tuesday, and urged companies from all over the world to cut off links with companies supporting the Myanmar military.

When the Burmese military’s bloody suppression of demonstrators caused severe international condemnation, it also prompted the Burmese to flee to neighboring countries to escape the fighting. From the 27th to the 30th of last month, the Burmese army continued airstrikes against the Karen armed forces in the southeast near the Thai border, resulting in the displacement of more than 12,000 civilians and about 3,000 people fled into Thailand, of which 2,000 have been repatriated by the Thai government .

It is known that Myanmar has agreed to hold high-level talks with other ASEAN member states on domestic issues. The virtual summit may be held in the first week of April, but the talks have yet to be determined. Myanmar has long been faced with intertwined uncertainties such as internal ethnic conflicts, political factional struggles, economic backwardness, and difficult people’s livelihood. This time the military has outrageously overthrown the democratically elected government, making the Burmese determined to resist military rule, especially in the social media era. A generation, the more frustrated, the more courageous. It may be a difficult task for Burmese soldiers to end this scourge.

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