Why Is The Myanmar Junta Suffocating The People? – OpEd


When I was in Burma, way back in 1988, when I was compelled to serve as the most obedient servant of the Junta, I often heard the comment made by the Generals, “ Burma has 50 million plus people what if we kill one million we still have 49  million to govern” is to be the same attitude which they continue to harbour since 7th July 1962 when they killed 123 Rangoon University students and blown up the Students Union that was never rebuilt up to this day. But the Tatmadaw declared only a few students were killed a figure confirmed by the then Chief Medical Doctor P. Singh of the Rangoon University Hospital, who had expired in Toronto, as he dared not stayed in Burma anymore. Since then, “Lying the very concept of Truth” has become the motto of the Tatmadaw, and now simply suffocating the people of Burma by confiscating the few oxygen tanks which the country produce.

Once the entire people of Burma are against this third military coup of Min Aung Halaing and the Tatmadaw Think Tank came out with this sly plan of indirectly killing the people of Burma fist by liquidating the medical staffs of the health institutions both doctors and nurses including the volunteers medics as one can witness of how they treat the volunteer medics widely distributed in the world’s media .

We really feel that Myanmar critically needs massive UN-mandated humanitarian intervention to fight COVID19. The UN Security Council should mandate an international humanitarian intervention in Myanmar, including aid workers on the ground, to get life-saving assistance to millions of people now suffering under a devastating third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, says the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar. The military junta led by Min Aung Hlaing had deliberately  allowed COVID-19 to run free since it attempted to seize power six months ago. 

They are repeating the same tactics used in Nargis storm where the majority of the people in delta area were leave to their fate until the ASEAN countries intervene and even then it gives its consent reluctantly. Most of the Generals led by Min Aung Hlang are power maniacs and did not care for the people. In fact after the failed coup on February 1 have included  the  destruction  of  the country’s  healthcare  system, knowing full well that a massive third wave  of  COVID-19 will be devastating  Burma.  

People are lining the streets in search of oxygen supplies, families are losing multiple loved ones, and crematoriums are filled beyond capacity. “The situation has become a humanitarian disaster of such proportions that an international presence of health and medical personnel has become critical,” said Chris Sidoti of SAC-M. “The junta has demonstrated that it has neither the will nor the capacity to tackle a crisis on this scale – a crisis that it has deliberately fuelled.”

SAC-M is calling for the UN Security Council to mandate an urgent humanitarian intervention under a joint initiative with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. This is the only way to ensure life-saving assistance reaches the millions of desperate people in Burma’s heartlands and in the junta’s jails, where thousands and thousands  of  political  prisoners  have  been detained arbitrarily. 

SAC-M called last week for urgent cross-border assistance, with supply lines into Burma from neighbouring countries. This remains vital for the ethnic service providers, civil society, organisations, humanitarian groups and others  aligned with the National Unity Government and Civil Disobedience Movement who are already fighting to keep people alive. The National Unity Government has called for assistance from the international community. Burma does not have time to wait for the junta  to  ask  for  help, as was the case after Cyclone Nargis devastated the country in May 2008. However, the UN Security Council and ASEAN can use the experience gained in the aftermath of Nargis as a precedent for much-needed humanitarian intervention.

“This is a crisis the world cannot afford to ignore, much less the region,” said Marzuki  Darusman of SAC-M. “The  makeshift efforts to ease the plight of people crossing into Thailand and India are far from being able to roll back  the  epicentre of the pandemic within the country, which needs to be the primary strategic objective of massive regional and international action.”

The junta’s forces are seizing supplies of oxygen and personal protective equipment and medical professionals are being detained by the junta if they are caught supporting volunteer relief efforts. Community preventative measures such as checkpoints are also being destroyed. Meanwhile, the junta is drastically under-reporting case numbers. “

The junta is not a partner for the delivery of aid. That is why a humanitarian presence on the ground is needed,”  said  Yanghee  Lee  of  SAC-M. “Assistance must be delivered through international medical personnel, and international   protection given to Myanmar’s own medical professionals who are desperate to come out of hiding and work to save their country. No one will trust anything from the junta now” seems to be the clarion call.

We strong advised the Humanitarian Intervention by the International community

Kanbawza Win

Kanbawza Win is a political scientist based in Canada

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