11 July 2024

The Myanmar National Unity Government (NUG) is warning of a regional crisis, escalating from the current situation in Myanmar, as no meaningful action has been taken by ASEAN, or the international community, in the 100 days since the February 1st coup.

“If help is further delayed, the situation will become uncontrollable. The region can expect floods of refugees, drugs and human trafficking across borders,” said NUG spokesperson Dr. Sasa. “At the end of the day, the problem of Myanmar is the problem of ASEAN,” he stressed.

In this week’s exclusive interview with ThaiPBS World, Dr. Sasa said ASEAN has the power to stop the humanitarian catastrophe currently underway in Myanmar and pleaded for the regional association, and the international community, to stop the rampant killing of civilians, engage in dialogue with the people of Myanmar and provide humanitarian assistance.

So far, almost 800 civilians have been killed in the military crackdown against anti-armed forces protesters, while almost 5,000, including the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, have been detained, said the spokesperson.

“How long this will go on depends on how the international community takes action against the Tatmadaw (armed forces), including neighbours like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, India, and China,” Dr. Sasa said. “[It depends on] how they are prepared to help the people of Myanmar and support them.”

The situation and violence in Myanmar have drawn international attention. ASEAN held a ministerial meeting in late April, attended by Min Aung Hlaing, to address the crisis.

The 54 million people of Myanmar, however, have been left out of the dialogue, said the NUG spokesman, who appealed to the international community to ensure that discussions on the future of Myanmar include its people, who are represented by the NUG.

Dr. Sasa also repeated that Myanmar is disappointed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which he said has failed them many times. He called on the UNSC to vote on the Myanmar issue and to pass it to the United Nations General Assembly, to come up with a solution for Myanmar, which is now on the cusp of civil war and genocide.

It has also demanded that the international community implement the Responsibility to Protect principle in Myanmar without success, the spokesman said, adding that all these have left Myanmar’s people with no choice but to rely on themselves in their defence against state violence.

“The people of Myanmar are being forced to defend themselves. The army is now killing the people of Myanmar,” Dr. Sasa explained. “What chance do we have? The last option is do or die. That’s where we are right now.”