Open Letter: The United Nations Security Council’s meeting on Myanmar must lead to firm measures against the junta

April 17, 2023

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To: The Member States of the United Nations Security Council

CC: The United Nations Secretary-General

17 April 2023

Open Letter: The United Nations Security Council’s meeting on Myanmar must lead to firm measures against the junta

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned 546 Myanmar, regional and international civil society organizations (CSOs), welcome the United Kingdom’s request for an urgent Security Council discussion on Myanmar to address the illegal military junta’s worst civilian massacre since its failed coup, as well as the junta’s categorical refusal to comply with Security Council Resolution 2669 on Myanmar (December 2022). This “Any Other Business” discussion on 13 April must be followed by a dedicated Council meeting on the situation in Myanmar that leads to punitive measures against the junta under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

On Tuesday 11 April 2023, the illegal military junta in Myanmar launched an aerial attack on a civilian gathering of around 300 people in Pa Zi Gyi Village, Kanbalu Township, Sagaing Region. At least 168 people were killed, including 24 women and 40 children. During the attack, a junta’s fighter jet flew over the village in the morning and dropped two bombs on the gathering. It was followed by a junta helicopter gunship that then opened fire on the crowd. Some of the victims’ bodies were so badly maimed they could not be identified. A second attack on the same location was launched by the junta in the evening, with four more bombs dropped, while victims’ bodies were still being retrieved.

The junta’s actions are a flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2669, which demanded “an immediate end to all forms of violence throughout the country” (OP1). Yet, since the Security Council adopted the Resolution in December 2022, the military junta has only escalated its campaign of terror and violence against the people of Myanmar.

The airstrike on Pa Zi Gyi Village came just one day after junta airstrikes in Va and Waibula Villages of Falam Township in Chin State, which killed nine civilians and destroyed homes and schools.  Throughout March 2023, the junta’s so-called “Ogre Column” has carried out a series of raids on villages in southern Sagaing Region, massacring more than 30 people, including children, and decapitating and dismembering victims’ bodies. On 11 March, junta forces killed 29 civilians, including three monks, at a monastery in Pinlaung Township, Shan State. On 14 and 16 February 2023, the junta’s jet fighters dropped bombs in Mutraw District, Karen State, destroying two rice warehouses and seven schools.

Last week, the UN Human Rights Council adopted Resolution on Myanmar (A/HRC/52/32) by consensus that condemned the junta’s deliberate, widespread, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force against civilians. The resolution referred directly to the junta’s airstrike against a school in Let Yet Kone Village, Sagaing Region in September 2022 that killed 11 children, and its airstrike one month later targeting a concert in Hpakant, Kachin State, that killed more than 60 people. The Human Rights Council Resolution demanded that the junta immediately cease all air strikes. The junta responded with the April 11 attack on Pa Zi Gyi Village.

At the same time as launching ground and increasing aerial attacks on civilians in many states and regions where the people’s resistance movement has taken strongholds, the junta is deliberately forcibly displacing people and cutting off humanitarian access to vast parts of the country. According to the most recent figures from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 1.8 million people are now displaced inside Myanmar, but this number of displacements is likely higher. The junta is deliberately fuelling a nationwide humanitarian emergency to advance its political and military agenda.

Excellencies, the military junta has no regard for the lives of the Myanmar people, no regard for the rule of law, and no regard for international peace and security. The junta will not respond to words, only to action. Therefore, we call on the UN Security Council to adopt firm measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to enforce the military junta’s compliance with Resolution 2669. Those measures should include targeted economic sanctions against the military junta, a comprehensive arms embargo including on aviation fuel, and referral of the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court or the establishment of an ad hoc tribunal.

Resolution 2669 also calls for “concrete and immediate actions, noting the military’s commitments to ASEAN Leaders, to effectively and fully implement ASEAN’s Five Point Consensus” (OP6). But there will be no progress made towards the implementation of the Five Point Consensus while the junta’s violence continues and its use of airstrikes against civilians increases. If the Security Council does not act now, we fear the crisis in Myanmar will rapidly reach the point of no return.

For more information, please contact:

Signed by 546 civil society organizations, including 248 CSOs who have chosen to not disclose their name:

  1. #MilkTeaAlliance Friends of Myanmar
  2. 8888 Generation (New Zealand)
  3. Action Against Myanmar Military Coup
  4. Action Committee for Democracy Development (Coalition of 14 grassroots networks)
  5. Active Youths Kalaymyo
  6. Ah Nah Podcast – Conversations with Myanmar
  7. La. Ka (12) Hta Khwe. Primary Education Student Union
  8. All Burma Democratic Front in New Zealand
  9. All Burma Indigenous People Alliance
  10. All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP)
  11. All Religions Strike Column
  12. All Young Burmese League
  13. ALTSEAN-Burma
  14. Anti Dictatorship in Burma – DC Metropolitan Area
  15. Anti-Myanmar Military Dictatorship Network Australia (AMMDNA)
  16. ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights – APHR
  17. ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
  18. ASEAN Youth Forum Secretariat
  19. Asia Citizen Future Association
  20. Asia Democracy Network
  21. Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)
  22. Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition
  23. Asian Cultural Forum on Development Foundation (ACFOD)
  24. Asian Dignity Initiative
  25. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  26. Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
  27. Association for Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
  28. Association Suisse-Birmanie
  29. Associazione per l’Amicizia Italia Birmana Giuseppe Malpeli
  30. Athan – Freedom of Expression Activists Organization
  31. Auckland Kachin Community NZ
  32. Auckland Zomi Community
  33. Aung Myay Thar Zan Education Schools Strike Column
  34. Aung Pin Lae Main Strike Column
  35. Aung San Suu Kyi Park Norway
  36. Australian Coalition for Democracy in Burma
  37. Australian Karen Organisation
  38. Ayeyarwaddy West Development Organization (Magway Region)
  39. Backpack Health Workers Team
  40. Bandugvala Civil Call
  41. Blood Money Campaign (BMC)
  42. Blooming Padauk
  43. Burma Action Ireland
  44. Burma Campaign UK
  45. Burma Human Rights Network
  46. Burma Lawyer Council
  47. Burma Medical Association
  48. Burma Support
  49. Burmese American Democratic Alliance (BADA)
  50. Burmese Community Development Collaboration
  51. Burmese Community Group (Manawatu, NZ)
  52. Burmese Community South Australia
  53. Burmese Community Support Group
  54. Burmese Medical Association Australia
  55. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
  56. Burmese Rohingya Welfare Organisation New Zealand
  57. Burmese Women’s Union
  58. Campaign for a New Myanmar
  59. Campaign for Popular Democracy (CPD), Thailand
  60. CDM Support Team Mandalay
  61. Central European Institute of Asian Studies (CEIAS)
  62. Chan Mya Thar Si Township People Strike Column
  63. Chin Community in Norway
  64. Chin Community of Auckland
  65. Chin Community of USA DC Area
  66. Chin Human Rights Organization
  67. Chin MATA Working Group
  68. Citizen of Burma Award – New Zealand
  69. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
  70. Civil Rights Defenders
  71. Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
  72. Cooperative University Student Strike Column
  73. CRPH & NUG Supporters Ireland
  74. CRPH Funding Ireland
  75. CRPH Support Group, Norway
  76. CRPH, NUG Support Team Germany-Deutschland
  77. Daung Sit Thi
  78. Dawei Development Association (DDA)
  79. Democracy, Peace and Women’s Organization
  80. Democratic Youth Council
  81. Digital Rights Collective
  82. Doh Atu – Ensemble pour le Myanmar
  83. Dream Hope’s Goals (Media & Productions)
  84. Dunedin Myanmar Community New Zealand
  85. Education Family (Anti – Fascists Education Strike Columns Coordination Committee)
  86. Education Initiative Prague
  87. Equality Myanmar
  88. Ethnic Youth General Strike Committee
  89. European Karen Network
  90. Falam Chin Community South Australia
  91. Federal FM – Mandalay
  92. Federal Myanmar Benevolence Group (NZ)
  93. Finland Myanmar Society Ry
  94. Former ABSDF International
  95. ForumCiv
  96. Free Burma Action Committee – Central Valley
  97. Free Burma Action Committee – Northern California
  98. Free Burma Action Committee – Sacramento
  99. Free Burma Action Committee – San Francisco
  100. Free Burma Campaign (South Africa) – FBC (SA))
  101. Freedom and Labor Action Group (FLAG)
  102. Future Light Centre
  103. Future Thanlwin
  104. General Strike Committee of Nationalities (GSCN)
  105. Generation Wave
  106. German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy eV
  107. Gimpo Myanmar Friends Korea
  108. Global Myanmar Spring Revolution
  109. Global Myanmar Spring Revolution (Japan)
  110. Global Myanmar Spring Revolution (Korea)
  111. Grass-root People
  112. Help Myanmar
  113. Helping Hands for Burma
  114. HTY Scout Channel
  115. Human Rights Educators Network
  116. Human Rights Foundation of Monland
  117. Industrial Training Centre (ITC) Family Sydney
  118. Info Birmanie
  119. Information & Scout News (Hlaing)
  120. Initiatives for International Dialogue
  121. Insein Scout Channel
  122. Institute for Asian Democracy
  123. Inter Pares
  124. International Association, Myanmar-Switzerland (IAMS)
  125. International Campaign for the Rohingya
  126. Justice For All
  127. Justice For Myanmar
  128. Kachin Association Australia
  129. Kachin Association Norway
  130. Kachin National Forum
  131. Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
  132. Karen Community in Norway
  133. Karen Human Rights Group
  134. Karen Organization of America
  135. Karen Peace Support Network
  136. Karen Swedish Community
  137. Karen Women’s Organization
  138. Karenni Association – Norway
  139. Karenni MATA
  140. Karenni National Women’s Organization
  141. Karenni Society New Zealand
  142. Kayan Women’s Organization
  143. K’cho Ethnic Association
  144. Keng Tung Youth, Shan MATA
  145. Korean Civil Society in Support of Democracy in Myanmar
  146. Kyae Lak Myay
  147. Kyaukse University Students’ Union
  148. Kyauktada Strike Committee
  149. Kyimyindaing Scout Channel
  150. La Communauté BIRMANIE de France
  151. Lanmadaw, Latha & Pabedan Scout Channel
  152. LGBTIQ Strike of Mandalay
  153. Maha Aung Myay Township People Collective Strike Column
  154. Mandalar University Student Strike Column
  155. Mandalay Alliance Strike Collective Column
  156. Mandalay Based People Strike Column
  157. Mandalay Civil Society Organizations
  158. Mandalay Engineer Group
  159. Mandalay Engineer United Force
  160. Mandalay Regional Youth Association
  161. Mandalay University Student Alumni Union
  162. Mandalay Wholesale Strike Column
  163. Mandalay Youth Strike Column
  164. MATA Sagaing Region
  165. Matu Burma Foundation
  166. Matu Chin Community – NSW/UPU Chin Association
  167. Matu Chin Community South Australia
  168. Mayangone News
  169. Medical Family – Mandalay
  170. Metta Campaign Mandalay
  171. MIIT Student Strike Column
  172. Minbu Farmer Group
  173. Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute Foundation, Inc. (MPI)
  174. Mindat Chin Community NSW
  175. Minhla Development Organization
  176. Minority Affairs Institute
  177. Mizo Community South Australia
  178. Mon National Council
  179. Muslim Youth Network
  180. Muslim Youth Union
  181. Mya Taung Strike Column
  182. Myanmar Accountability Project
  183. Myanmar Action Group Denmark
  184. Myanmar Anti-military Coup Movement in New Zealand
  185. Myanmar Baptist Churches in Norway
  186. Myanmar Campaign Network
  187. Myanmar Catholic Community In Norway
  188. Myanmar Community Coffs Harbour (MCC)
  189. Myanmar Community Group Christchurch New Zealand
  190. Myanmar Community Group Dunedin New Zealand
  191. Myanmar Community in Norway
  192. Myanmar Cultural Research Society
  193. Myanmar Engineers – New Zealand
  194. Myanmar Gonye (New Zealand)
  195. Myanmar Hindu Community – Norway
  196. Myanmar Muslim Organization – Norway
  197. Myanmar Muslim Revolution Force
  198. Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)
  199. Myanmar Professionals Association Australia (MPAA)
  200. Myanmar Railway, Region (3) CDM Strike Column
  201. Myanmar Students’ Union in New Zealand
  202. Myaung Education Network
  203. Myaung Medical Team
  204. Myinmu Helping Hands
  205. Naphe Development Organization
  206. National Advocacy Group – New Zealand
  207. Nelson Myanmar Community Group New Zealand
  208. Netherlands Myanmar Solidarity Platform
  209. Network for Human Rights Documentation Burma (ND-Burma)
  210. New Rehmonnya Federated Force – NRFF
  211. New York City Burmese Community
  212. New Zealand Doctors for NUG
  213. New Zealand Karen Association
  214. New Zealand Zo Community Inc.
  215. NLD Solidarity Association (NSW chapter)
  216. No 7 State High School Alumni Strike Column
  217. No Business With Genocide
  218. NOK Information & Scout Echo
  219. North Dagon & East Dagon News
  220. Norway Falam Community
  221. Norway Matu Community
  222. Norway Rvwang Community
  223. NSW Karenni (Kayah) Communities
  224. Nway Oo Guru Lay Myar
  225. Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica
  226. One Dollar For People Of Burma
  227. Overseas Mon Association, New Zealand
  228. Padauk, Suomi-Myanmar Seura
  229. Pakokku Youth Development Council
  230. Pan Pa Wash People Strike Column
  231. Phayagye Peace Strike Column
  232. Private Pre- school Teachers Association
  233. Progressive Muslim Youth Association
  234. Progressive Voice
  235. Pwintphyu Development Organization (Magway Region)
  236. Pyi Gyi Ta Gon Strike
  237. Pyithu Gonye (New Zealand)
  238. Rohingya Community in Norway
  239. ROTARY Peace Fellowship Alumni Association, Makerere University, Uganda
  240. Rvwang Community Association New Zealand
  241. Sangha Samaga Strike Column
  242. Save and Care Organization for Ethnic Women at Border Areas
  243. Save Myanmar (San Francisco)
  244. Save Myanmar Fundraising Group (New Zealand)
  245. Save Myanmar USA
  246. SaNaR (Save the Natural Resources)
  247. SEA Junction
  248. Sein Pan Strike Column
  249. Shan Community (New Zealand)
  250. Shan MATA
  251. Sitt Nyein Pann Foundation
  252. South Dagon Scouting Infos (SDG)
  253. Southern Dragon Myanmar
  254. Southern Youth Development Organization, Tanintharyi MATA
  255. Spring Revolution Myanmar Muslim Network
  256. Spring University Myanmar
  257. Strike Column of Representatives of Arbitrarily Arrested People
  258. Strike Column of Teachers from Universities and Degree Colleges of Mandalay
  259. Support Group for Democracy in Myanmar (The Netherlands)
  260. Swedish Burma Committee
  261. Swedish Foundation for Human Rights
  262. Sydney Friends For Myanmar
  263. Synergy – Social Harmony Organization
  264. Ta’ang Legal Aid
  265. Ta’ang Women’s Organization
  266. Taekwando Sport Association
  267. Tamwe Nway Oo Channel
  268. Tanintharyi MATA
  269. Tenasserim Student Unions’ Network -TSUN
  270. Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma
  271. Thaketa & Dawbon Scout Channel
  272. Thapaynyo Newsletter
  273. The Free Burma Campaign (South Africa)
  274. The Ladies
  275. The National Council of Swedish Children and Youth Organizations (LSU)
  276. Think Centre, Singapore
  277. Transparency International Czech Republic
  278. S Campaign for Burma
  279. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  280. United Hands for New Myanmar (American-Myanmar Society)
  281. Volunteers in Myanmar
  282. We Pledge CDM (Australia)
  283. WITNESS
  284. Women Activists Myanmar
  285. Women Advocacy Coalition – Myanmar
  286. Women’s League of Burma
  287. Women’s Peace Network
  288. Yangon Medical Network
  289. Youth for Democratization of Myanmar
  290. Youth Scout For Democracy
  291. Youths for Community Myaung
  292. Z Fighter News
  293. Zomi Association Australia Inc.
  294. Zomi Christian Fellowship of Norway
  295. Zomi Community Norway
  296. မြန်မာမွတ်စလင်အစည်းအရုံး (BMA)
  297. အထက်အညာလွင်ပြင်ရပ်ဝန်း
  298. အလင်းရောင်လူငယ်များ – Light Of Youth Myanmar