Feb. 1, 2021, Myanmar: Justice For Myanmar condemns today’s military coup in the strongest terms. The coup has been orchestrated by Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and his enablers in the military leadership, with retired Lieutenant General Myint Swe (Vice-President in the National League for Democracy-led government) as the figurehead. The military’s actions reverse Myanmar’s limited transition to democracy and further risks the lives of the people of Myanmar and rank-and-file members of the Myanmar military, who were already struggling day-to-day with the severe effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, civil war and economic crisis.
The military leadership has shown again and again that they are not protectors of the nation, as they claim to be, but are scrambling to protect their own selfish interests. This is evident in the 2008 Constitution that the military themselves drafted to protect their privilege and systematise their corruption. The Constitution has enabled the military to seize power by declaring a state of emergency, showing the absolute deficiency of the military’s “disciplined democracy”, which was never meant to award democratic rights to the people.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing is the main beneficiary of the coup. Justice For Myanmar notes he is due to retire in June 2021, which threatened his political power and the business interests of he and his family. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has exploited his position as Commander-in-Chief for his personal gain, and today’s coup extends that power and privilege.
Justice For Myanmar calls on the international community to apply immediate and comprehensive targeted sanctions against the Myanmar military, their leaders and their business accomplices. The military coup shows a systemic failure in how the international community has dealt with Myanmar in recent years by normalising the Myanmar military and their businesses, despite the fact they have committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. This has enabled them to operate with total impunity. The failed approach of the US, EU and international community to the Myanmar military must end today. The military leaders and their business associates must be held accountable for their actions. Responsibility must be taken to protect the people of Myanmar.
Note to editors
Justice For Myanmar, a group of covert activists campaigning for justice and accountability for the people of Myanmar, is calling for an end to military business and for federal democracy and a sustainable peace.
For details on Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s financial motivations behind the coup, see Justice For Myanmar’s web feature, Who profits from a coup? The power and greed of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing
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