Open Letter: Finland and Switzerland must stop lending legitimacy to Myanmar military junta and its sham peace efforts

November 10, 2023


Minister Elina Valtonen
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Government of Finland

Councillor Ignazio Cassis
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Government of Switzerland

10 November, 2023

Subject: Finland and Switzerland must stop lending legitimacy to Myanmar military junta and its sham peace efforts  

Dear Minister Valtonen and Councillor Cassis,

We, 661 civil society organizations – call on the Governments of Finland and Switzerland to end all engagements with and support of the Myanmar military junta, particularly its sham peace efforts. We urge Finland and Switzerland to instead support the people of Myanmar’s ongoing efforts towards inclusive federal democracy and sustainable peace.

First, we have learned that the Government of Finland, through the CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation, recently invited members of the Myanmar military junta’s so-called Peace Committee to a secret meeting in Helsinki, Finland, and met with them there – all while the junta is deliberately targeting and killing civilians across the country.

By bringing junta representatives to Helsinki, the Finnish Government has signaled its recognition, acceptance, and support of the junta – in complete violation of democratic principles and most importantly, the will of the people of Myanmar.

Let us be clear: The people of Myanmar are not merely in a political disagreement with the illegal and illegitimate military junta. Since its failed coup of 1 February 2021, the junta has killed at least 4,174 people, as of 6 November 2023, and over 1.7 million people have been internally displaced. In recent months, the junta has ramped up its use of airstrikes to terrorize and murder Myanmar civilians across the country. From May to August 2023 alone, the junta launched 272 airstrikes, amounting to at least two airstrikes per day – killing 72 civilians and injuring 163, as well as damaging schools, medical facilities, and religious buildings.

By supporting and lending legitimacy to the murderous junta, the Finnish Government has failed to uphold its international obligations to protect the people of Myanmar and has undermined Myanmar people’s resistance movement in defense of democracy and human rights. Finland’s actions have also undermined international sanctions targeting the junta and emboldened the junta to continue its mass atrocity crimes against Myanmar civilians with blanket impunity.

Second, we have also learned that the Government of Switzerland, in conjunction with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and Swisspeace, organized a workshop on the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) peace process in Naypyitaw from October 16 to 18, 2023.

By supporting the junta’s futile and sham NCA efforts, the Swiss Government not only lends legitimacy to the junta, but also prolongs the junta’s relentless violence that is attempting to force the people of Myanmar back under military dictatorship.

The failed NCA is completely irrelevant in addressing Myanmar’s multi-faceted crisis. In fact, support for the NCA emboldens the junta and worsens the unfathomable devastation in Myanmar, as the military is the source of violence and the root cause of the crisis. As declared by three original signers of the NCA, the military junta’s illegal coup attempt and its use of extreme violence against civilians have violated and invalidated the NCA, particularly its principle of non-violence.

From its start, the NCA has never been a praiseworthy, genuine peace deal, as its original process was deeply flawed and exclusive. Today, the ethnic armed organizations that continue to engage with the junta’s futile NCA efforts do not hold territory, have significant troop numbers, nor hold the mandate to represent their people. Any actions of the junta related to the NCA are thus illusory and invalid, and must be denounced by the international community.

Third, we have further learned that Switzerland and Finland are trying to provide humanitarian assistance through the Technical Secretariat Center (TSC), a working group of the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee (JMC), in collaboration with a few other countries.

Humanitarian aid provided through junta-controlled channels, such as the JMC and TSC, will not reach the people in need and will instead lend legitimacy to the illegal junta, bolster its violence against civilians, and whitewash its mass atrocity crimes.

Switzerland and Finland know very well that the military currently controls both the JMC and TSC, as it has in the past. When the JMC was first formed, the pre-existing civilian ceasefire monitoring was banned, and today, the junta’s control overrides any civilian voices more so than ever before. Indeed, since their formation, the JMC and TSC have never functioned to aid civilians – and never will.

Rather than deliver aid to the people, the junta will only continue to weaponize the aid provided through the TSC, blocking aid deliveries, attacking humanitarian workers, and lining its pockets to continue its violence. Aid provision through the TSC also stands to hinder other avenues for aid delivery, namely cross-border channels that support locally led, frontline humanitarian responders throughout Myanmar.

Overall, we are appalled to learn that Switzerland and Finland are pursuing these unethical initiatives that allow the junta to continue its war of terror against Myanmar’s people. In asymmetric conflict, the oppressor – here, the military junta – cannot be an equal or trusted partner at any negotiation table. As European history has shown us, the privilege to join peace efforts and deliver humanitarian aid must not be afforded to brutal oppressors who have no interest in genuine peace or cessation of violence.

Therefore, we call on the Governments of Finland and Switzerland to stop lending legitimacy and recognition to the junta and instead fully support the people of Myanmar. To do so, Finland and Switzerland must immediately cease any engagement with the junta, including the aforementioned initiatives, which are an insult to Myanmar’s people who have endured decades of immense suffering from the military’s violence.

To align with the will of Myanmar people, Finland and Switzerland must also join ongoing international efforts to actualize justice for Myanmar people and hold the military accountable for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Relatedly, we call on Finland and Switzerland to denounce the military junta’s sham NCA-related peace efforts, and instead provide financial and political support to Myanmar people’s efforts to build sustainable and inclusive peace from the bottom up.

For Myanmar to achieve sustainable peace, not only must the military be held accountable under international law, but also the junta’s access to weapons and foreign currency must end. Therefore, we further call on Finland and Switzerland to strongly recommend a UN Security Council resolution that refers the crisis in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court or establishes an ad hoc tribunal and that imposes a global arms embargo, as well as robust, targeted economic sanctions against the military junta.

In tandem, Finland and Switzerland must end all partnerships with the junta and junta-controlled or -linked entities for the provision of humanitarian aid. Humanitarian aid should instead be provided directly to local ethnic and community-based organizations, including through cross-border channels to enhance locally led humanitarian response efforts.

Through a strong people’s resistance movement across the country, Myanmar people are aiming to dismantle the military junta and end the military’s violent oppression. It is high time that Finland and Switzerland stand unequivocally on the side of the people of Myanmar.

Signed by 661 civil society organizations, including 277 organizations that have chosen not to disclose their names because the junta continues violence in Myanmar.

  1. 5/ of Zaya State  Strike
  2. A-Yar-Taw People Strike
  3. Action Committee for Democracy Development (Coalition of 14 grassroots networks)
  4. Action Committee of Basic Education Students (ACBES)
  5. Action Group for Democracy and Human Rights
  6. All Arakan Students’ & Youths’ Congress – AASYC
  7. All Arakan Youth Orga
  8. All Aung Myay Thar San Schools Strike Force
  9. All Burma Federation of Student Unions (Monywa District)
  10. Alliance for Democracy in Myanmar.
  11. Alliance of Students’ Union – Yangon (ASU-Yangon)
  12. Anti-coup Forces Coordination Committee (ACFCC -Mandalay)
  13. Anti-Junta Alliance Yangon-AJAY
  14. Arakan CSO Network
  15. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
  16. Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
  17. Ayeyarwaddy Journalists Society – AJS
  18. Ayeyarwaddy West Development Organisation AWDO Minbu
  19. Ayeyarwaddy West Development Organisation.AWDO  (Nagphe)
  20. Basic Education General Strike Committee (BEGSC)
  21. Basic Education Students & Youths Association (BESYA) _အခြေခံပညာ    ကျောင်းသား လူငယ်များ အစည်းအရုံး (အကလ)
  22. Basic Education Worker Unions – Steering Committee (BEWU-SC)
  23. Blood Money Campaign
  24. Burma Civil War Museum
  25. Burma Human Rights Network
  26. Burmese Women’s Union
  27. CAN-Myanmar
  28. CDM Medical Network (CDMMN)
  29. Chanmyatharzi Township People’s Strike
  30. Chaung Oo Township Youth Strike Committee
  31. Chindwin (West) Villages Women Strike
  32. Civil Information Network (CIN)
  33. Civil Society Organizations Coordination Committee (Monywa)
  34. Co-operative University Mandalay Students’ Strike
  35. Coalition Strike Committee – Dawei
  36. Daung Sitthe Strike
  37. Dawei ( Ashaetaw) Women Strike
  38. Dawei Youths Revolutionary Movement Strike Committee
  39. Defend Myanmar Democracy
  40. Delta News Agency
  41. Delta Youth Initiative
  42. Democracy Movement Strike Committee(Dawei)
  43. Democracy, Peace and Women’s Organization
  44. Democratic Youth Council
  45. Depayin Township Revolution Steering Committee
  46. Depayin Women Strike
  47. Equality Myanmar
  48. Ethnic Youth General Strike Committee (Mandalay)
  49. Federal Corner
  50. Former Political Prisoners and New Generation Group – Monywa
  51. Free Rohingya Coalition
  52. Future Light Center
  53. Future Thanlwin
  54. Gangaw Women Strike
  55. General Strike Collaboration Committee (GSCC)
  56. General Strike Committee of Basic and Higher Education (GSCBHE)
  57. General Strike Committee of Nationalities -GSCN
  58. Generation Wave
  59. Grass-root People
  60. Human Rights Educators Network
  61. Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM)
  62. Industries Strike
  63. JMC Inn Lay
  64. Justice for Myanmar
  65. Kachin Gender Star Group
  66. Kachin Student Union
  67. Kachin Women Network
  68. Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
  69. Kalay Township Strike Force
  70. Kalay Women Strike
  71. Kanpetlet Land Development Organization
  72. Karen Human Rights Group
  73. Karen Peace Support Network
  74. Kayan Rescuse Committee KRC
  75. Keng Tung Youth
  76. Kyain Seikgyi Spring Revolution Leading Committee
  77. Kyauktada Strike Committee
  78. Latpadaung Region Strike Committee
  79. Legal Aid for Human Rights
  80. Let’s Help Each Other
  81. LGBT Alliance
  82. LGBT Alliance Myanmar (Kalay Region)
  83. LGBT Alliance Myanmar (Kyaukse Region)
  84. LGBT Community Yangon
  85. LGBT Union – Mandalay
  86. Los Angeles Myanmar Movement (LA2M)
  87. Magway People’s Revolution Committee
  88. Maharaungmyay Township People’s Strike
  89. Mandalar University Students’ Strike
  90. Mandalay Alliance Coalition Strike
  91. Mandalay Medical Family (MFM)
  92. Mandalay Regional Youth Association – Revolutionary Core Group
  93. Mandalay Strike Force (MSF)
  94. Mandalay Women Strike
  95. Mandalay Youth Strike
  96. Mandalay-based People’s Strike
  97. Mandalay-Based University Students’ Unions (MDY_SUs)
  98. MayMyo Strike Force
  99. Metta Campaign
  100. Min Hla farmers Group
  101. Minbu Farmers  Group
  102. Minority Affairs Institute (MAI Myanmar)
  103. Monywa LGBT Strike
  104. Monywa People’s Strike Steering Committee
  105. Monywa Women Strike
  106. Monywa-Amyint Road Strike Leading Committee
  107. Monywa-Amyint Road Women Strike
  108. Multi-Religions  Strike
  109. Mya Taung Strike
  110. Myanmar Cultural Research Society
  111. Myanmar Institute of Information Technology Students’ Strike
  112. Myanmar Labor Alliance (MLA)
  113. Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)
  114. Myaung Youth Network
  115. MyaYar Knowledge Tree
  116. Myingyan Civillian Movement Committee
  117. National League for Democracy (Monywa Township)
  118. Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma (ND-Burma)
  119. Network of University Student Unions – Monywa
  120. No.12 Basic Education Branch High School ( Maharaungmyay) Students’ Union
  121. NRFF – New Rehmonnya Federated Force
  122. Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica
  123. Open Development Foundation
  124. Oway Institute
  125. Pale Township People’s Strike Steering Committee
  126. PFLAG-Myanmar
  127. Progressive Voice
  128. Pwintphyu Development Organisation
  129. Pyi Gyi Tagon Strike Force
  130. Rangoon Scout Network – RSN
  131. Representative Committee of University Teacher Associations (RC of UTAs)
  132. Rural Community Development Society
  133. Salingyi Subcommittee
  134. Samgha Sammaga-Mandalay
  135. Save and Care Organization for Ethnic Women at Border Areas
  136. Seinpann Strike
  137. Shan MATA
  138. Shwe Pan Kone People`s Strike Steering Committee
  139. Sisters 2 Sisters
  140. Sitt Nyein Pann Foundation
  141. Southern Dragon Myanmar
  142. Southern Monitor
  143. Southern Youth Development Organization
  144. Spring Friends
  145. Spring Sprouts
  146. Spring Traveller
  147. Student Voice
  148. Synergy – Social Harmony Organization
  149. Ta Mar Institute of Development
  150. Ta’ang Women’s Organization
  151. Tanintharyi MATA
  152. Taze Strike Commitee
  153. Taze Women Strike
  154. Thakhin Kodaw Mhine Peace Network (Monywa)
  155. Thayat Chaung Women Strike
  156. The 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (Monywa)
  157. Twitter Team for Revolution (TTFR)
  158. University Students’ Unions Alumni Force
  159. Volunteers in Myanmar
  160. Wetlet Revolution Leading Committee
  161. Wetlet Twonship Women Strike
  162. White Coat Society Yangon (WCSY)
  163. Women Advocacy Coalition- Myanmar
  164. Women Alliance Burma (WAB)
  165. Women’s League of Burma
  166. Yadanabon University Students’ Union ( YDNBUSU)
  167. Yangon Women Strike
  168. Yasakyo Township People`s Strike Steering Committee
  169. Yinmarpin and Salingyi All Villages Strike Committee
  170. တကသ ကျောင်းသားဟောင်းများ အင်အားစု
  171. ဒို့မြေကွန်ရက် – LIOH
  172. ပဉ္စမမဏ္ဏိုင်
  173. ပွင့်ဖြူလယ်ယာမြေကွန်ရက်
  174. မျက်မှောက်ခေတ်
  175. မျိုးဆက်-Generations
  176. မြန်မာမွတ်စလင် အစည်းအရုံး (BMA)
  177. ယောဒေသစစ်ဘေးရှောင်ကူညီရေးအဖွဲ့
  178. ရုန်းကန်သံ

11 November, 2023 (Endorsed List)

Endorsed Organizations Worldwide! (Europe & US 46 + International 6 + Japan 50 + Australia 78 + New Zealand 26 = 206).


  1. Aung San Su Kyi Park, Norway
  2. Ah Nah Podcast – Conversations with Myanmar
  3. Burma Campaign UK
  4. Burma Action Ireland
  5. Chin Comunity in Norway
  6. CRPH Funding Ireland
  7. CRPH & NUG Supporters Ireland
  8. CRPH Support Group, Norway
  9. CRPH, NUG Support Team Germany-Deutschland
  10. Democratic Party for a New Society, Norway.
  11. Doh Atu – Ensemble pour le Myanmar
  12. Educational Initiatives Prague
  13. European Rohingya Council (ERC)
  14. German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy e.V.
  15. Info Birmanie
  16. Integria, z.u. Prague
  17. International Association, Myanmar-Switzerland (IAMS)
  18. K’cho Ethnic Association
  19. Kachin Association Norway
  20. Karen Swedish Community (KSC)
  21. Karenni Association – Norway
  22. Matu Burma Foundation
  23. Mon Association – Norway
  24. Myanmar Baptist Churches in Norway
  25. Myanmar Catholic Community In Norway
  26. Myanmar Community in Norway
  27. Myanmar Hindu Community – Norway
  28. Myanmar Muslim Organization – Norway
  29. Netherlands Myanmar Solidarity Platform
  30. NLD Organization Committe (International) Norway
  31. Norway Falam Community
  32. Norway Matu Community
  33. Norway Rawang Community
  34. Padauk Finland Myanmar Association
  35. Rohingya Action Ireland (RAI)
  36. Rohingya Community in Norway
  37. Swedish Burma Committee
  38. Youth for democratization of Myanmar (UDM)
  39. Zomi Christian Fellowship of Norway
  40. Zomi Community Norway


  1. Campaign for a New Myanmar
  2. International Campaign for the Rohingya
  3. No Business With Genocide
  4. Los Angeles Myanmar Movement (LA2M)
  5. Alliance for Democracy in Myanmar also consented to endorse
  6. Free Burma Action Committee, Save Myanmar San Francisco


  1. ALTSEAN-Burma
  2. Action Committee for Democracy Development (ACDD)
  3. Freedom and Labor Action Group (FLAG)
  4. Myanmar Campaign Network
  5. International Karen Organization
  6. U.S. Campaign for Burma


  1. Association of United Nationality in Japan (AUN)
  2. Burma Refugee Saving Association (B.R.S.A)
  3. Chin Community of Japan (CCJ)
  4. Chin Youth Organization of Japan (CYO-JP)
  5. Colorful Spring (ရောင်စုံနွေဦး)
  6. Dawei Youths in Japan (DYJ)
  7. Dragon Dawn
  8. Federation of Worker’s Union of Burmese Citizens in Japan (FWUBC)
  9. GenY For Revolution Japan
  10. Global Myanmar Spring Revolution – Japan
  11. Hope For Youth -Kyushu Japan
  12. International Society of Myanmar Scholars and Professionals (Japan)
  13. Japan Myanmar Future Creative Association (JMFCA)
  14. Japan Myanmar Help Network – JMHN
  15. Kachin Affairs Organizintion -Japan (KAO (Japan)
  16. Karenni National Society (KNS)Japan
  17. Karen National League Japan-KNL
  18. Kansai Group Japan
  19. KnowUsMoreMyanmar (KUM)
  20. Kobe Myanmar Community (KMC)
  21. League For Democracy in Burma (L.D.B Japan)
  22. Palaw Supporting Group – Japan
  23. Mon Youth For Federal Democracy (MYFD)
  24. Myanmar Development Support Group (MDSG)
  25. Federation of Worker’s Union of Burmese Citizens in Japan
  26. Myanmar Nationalities’ Support Organization – JP (MNSO)
  27. Palaw Supporting Group Japan
  28. Myanmar Spring Revolution Japan (MSRJ)
  29. Myanmar Tozan Club (MTC)
  30. Myanmar Youth and Student Association, Japan (MYSA)
  31. Myanmar’s Youth Association Hokkaido (MYAH)
  32. Okinawa Myanmar Association (OMA)
  33. 85 Palaung National Society Japan, PNS-Japan
  34. 86 People’s Hope Spring Revolution (PHSR)
  35. Punnyakari Mon National Society Japan,PMNS-Japan
  36. Revolution Tokyo Myanmar (RTM)
  37. ShizuYouth For Myanmar
  38. Shan Community in Japan (SCJ)
  39. Sone See Yar (Volunteer Group)
  40. Spring Revolution Restaurant ( SRR )
  41. Tai Youths Network Japan (TYNJ)
  42. Try Together At Japan (TTAJ)
  43. Union of Myanmar Citizen Association – Japan
  44. Voice For Justice
  45. We Are One Saga MOSA
  46. We for All
  47. We Support
  48. Yaw Funding Japan
  49. Yokohama Pamphlet Campaign – Myanmar
  50. ဂျပန်ပြည်မှတွဲလက်များ


  1. Action Against Myanmar Military Coup (Sydney)
  2. All Burma Student Democratic Front – Australia Branch
  3. All Young Burmese League (AYBL)
  4. Anti-Myanmar Dictatorship Movement
  5. Anti-Myanmar Military Dictatorship Network (AMMDN)
  6. Australia Burma Friendship Association, Northern Territory
  7. Australia Karen Organization WA Inc.
  8. Australia Myanmar Doctors, Nurses and Friends
  9. Australia Myanmar Youth Alliance (AMYA)
  10. Australian Burmese Muslim Organisation
  11. Australian Chin Community (Eastern Melbourne Inc)
  12. Australian Karen Organisation (AKO)
  13. Bamar Community Tasmania
  14. Burma Lawyers’ Council (BLC)
  15. Burmese Community – South Australia
  16. Burmese Community Development Collaboration (BCDC)
  17. Burmese Community Support Group (BCSG)
  18. Burmese Friendship Association
  19. Burmese Medical Association Australia (BMAA)
  20. Canberra Karen Association
  21. Chin Community of Western Australia Inc.
  22. Chin Community – South Australia
  23. Chin Community Tasmania
  24. Chin Youth Organization
  25. CRPH/NUG support group Australia
  26. Democracy for Burma
  27. Falam Community – South Australia
  28. Industrial Training Centre (ITC) Family Sydney
  29. Joint Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (JACDB)
  30. Justice 4 Myanmar – Hope & Development
  31. Kachin Association Australia
  32. Kachin Association of Australia WA Inc.
  33. Karen Community – South Australia
  34. Karenni Federation of Australia
  35. Karenni Community of Western Australia Inc.
  36. NSW Karenni (Kayah) Communities
  37. Kayin Community Tasmania
  38. Matu Chin Community – South Australia
  39. Mindat Chin Community NSW
  40. Mindat Community – South Australia
  41. Mizo Community – South Australia
  42. Mon Families Group
  43. Mon National Council (MNC)
  44. Myanmar Buddhist Community of South Australia
  45. Myanmar Community Coffs Harbour (MCC)
  46. Myanmar Democracy and Peace Committee (Australia)
  47. Myanmar Democratic Movement (MDM)
  48. Myanmar Engineering Association of Australia (MEAA)
  49. Myanmar People Residing in Canberra
  50. Myanmar Students’ Association Australia (MSAA)
  51. NLD Solidarity Association (Australia)
  52. Perth Myanmar Youth Network
  53. Patriotic War Vetrans of Burma (PWVB)
  54. Queensland Kachin Community (QKC)
  55. Queensland Myanmar Youth Collective (QMYC)
  56. Queensland Rohingya Community
  57. Red Campaign Nirvana Exhortation Group
  58. Remonya Association of WA (Mon Community)
  59. Shwe Youth Democratic Alliance (SYDA)
  60. Southcare Medical Centre
  61. Support for Myanmar
  62. Sydney Friends for Myanmar Unity
  63. The Institution of Professional Engineers Myanmar (IPEM)
  64. United Myanmar Community of South Australia
  65. Victorian Burmese Care Community (VBCC)
  66. Victorian Myanmar Youth (VMY)
  67. We Pledge CDM (Australia)
  68. Western Australia Myanmar Democratic Network (WAMDN)
  69. Women Activists Myanmar (WAM)
  70. Yadanar Foundation
  71. Zo Community – South Australia
  72. Zomi Association Australia Inc.
  73. Zomi Community – South Australia
  74. Zomi Community Queensland
  75. Pyit Taing Htaung Social Club
  76. Western Australia Myanmar Community (WAMC)
  77. BMT counselling
  78. Youth Heart Beams

▪️New Zealand

  1. Auckland Kachin Community NZ
  2. ChinCommunity of Auckland
  3. Citizenof Burma Award -NewZealand
  4. RvwangCommunity Association New Zealand
  5. New Zealand Zo Community Inc.
  6. AucklandZomi Community
  7. New ZealandKaren Association
  8. Karenni Society New Zealand
  9. OverseasMon Association.New Zealand
  10. Burmese Rohingya Welfare Organisation New Zealand
  11. Shan Community (New Zealand)
  12. Myanmar Gonye (New Zealand)
  13. Federal Myanmar Benevolence Group (NZ)
  14. NewZealand DoctorsforNUG
  15. 8888Generation (NewZealand)
  16. Burmese CommunityGroup (Manawatu,NZ)
  17. NelsonMyanmar Community New Zealand
  18. Myanmar Community ChristchurchNew Zealand
  19. Dunedin Myanmar Community NewZealand
  20. SaveMyanmar FundraisingGroup (NewZealand)
  21. MyanmarStudents’ UnioninNewZealand
  22. MyanmarEngineers-New Zealand
  23. AllBurma Democratic Face in NewZealand
  24. Wellington Chin Community ( New Zealand )
  25. Kayan International Network-New Zealand
  26. Wellington Karenni Community – New Zealand