Call to Action: #SolidarityForMyanmar
29 April 2021 4:00 am
On 1 February 2021 the Myanmar military seized power in a coup, overthrowing the democratically-elected government led by the National League for Democracy (NLD). The coup has been met with nationwide peaceful protests and civil disobedience movements demanding the restoration of the elected civilian government, release of all those who are arbitrarily detained following the coup, including Aung San Suu Kyi and civilian leaders, and accountability for the military’s atrocities.
Since the 1 February coup in Myanmar, the junta has responded to the ongoing peaceful demonstrations across Myanmar with lethal violence killing over 755 people and systematic crackdowns, including arbitrary arrests and detention, enforced disappearances, and regular disruption of internet and phone lines.
On this page, you will have an overview about #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar, relevant responses from the international community and what actions you can take to support the peoples of Myanmar.
Summary of Current Situation: #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar
The protests over the February 1 coup have been the largest since the Saffron Revolution in 2007 when thousands of monks rose up against the military regime. Tens of thousands of protesters from all walks of life, led by a Civil Disobedience Movement initiated by medical workers continue to employ non-violent tactics including regular and countrywide peaceful demonstrations, acts of civil disobedience, labour strikes, military boycott campaigns, a pot-banging movement, red ribbon campaigns, continue to protest the military coup and demand the restoration of the elected civilian government.
The junta has responded to the ongoing peaceful protests with systematic and violent crackdowns with shoot-to-kill orders. The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar has described the junta’s crackdown on peaceful protestors as crimes against humanity. Since the coup, over 755 people, including at least 43 children, women and medical workers have been killed so far in the junta’s violence against peaceful demonstrators.
More than 4496 people including human rights defenders, journalists and civilian political leaders have been arbitrarily arrested, detained, and raided their offices and homes. Whereabouts of many who have been arrested remain unknown while several others have reported torture, sexual violence and ill treatment in detention.
Amid the growing opposition to the junta, the military has escalated its military offensives in ethnic areas displacing thousands of people and forcing many to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.
The junta has resorted to regular internet shutdowns, social media and media blackouts, disinformation campaigns, and disingenuous political overtures to counter the growing protest movement.
In response to the coup d’état, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) comprising members of the parliament elected in the November 2020 election was formed in February 2021. According to the CRPH, it performs necessary activities and duties entrusted upon elected lawmakers or the regular functions of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (both houses of the Assembly of the Union), as well as activities necessary to ensure the unconditional release of those detained including the President and the State Counsellor.
On 16 April 2021, the CRPH announced the formation of a National Unity Government (NUG) led by elected civilian leaders. The NUG cabinet consists of lawmakers elected in the 2020 election, members of ethnic communities and key figures in the anti-coup protest movement, almost all of whom are in hiding or exile.
Every three weeks, FORUM-ASIA produces a timeline of key events for you to catch up on #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar.
For a PDF version of this timeline please click here
To learn about the latest development in Myanmar, please see:
- Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) Daily Briefing in Relation to the Military Coup here
Response from the International Community
1) Summary of ASEAN Response
- 24 April 2021: An ASEAN Leaders Meeting was held in Jakarta, followed by the Chairman’s statement with a Five-Point Consensus.
- 19 March 2021: The President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, supported by Malaysia and Singapore, issued a follow-up statement to condemn the utilisation of violence against protesters in Myanmar and conveyed his willingness to discuss with the current ASEAN Chair, Brunei Darussalam, the possibility of conducting a special ASEAN summit on Myanmar.
- 11 – 12 March 2021: At the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 46th session, ASEAN Member States made interventions during the interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar in which they highlighted the key message from the Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting.
- 2 March 2021: The Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting was convened, and the attendees included Myanmar’s military-appointed Foreign Minister. The ASEAN Chair released a statement urging ‘all parties’ to refrain from violence but stops short of taking any collective action.
- 24 February 2021: Indonesia’s Foreign Minister met with her Myanmar military-appointed counterpart in Bangkok, pushing for an ASEAN-led resolution to the crisis in Myanmar.
- 15 February 2021: Eight former AICHR representatives issued a statement that took a stronger position than the current representatives’ joint statement. They called on AICHR to demand that the military junta ‘immediately release all those currently arbitrarily detained [and] respect the human rights of the peoples of Myanmar and refrain from any use of violence against peaceful assemblies.
- 6 February 2021: Four representatives from the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) – (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand) – issued a joint statement that expressed grave concern over the current situation in Myanmar and urged the military to respect the principles enshrined in the ASEAN Charter.
- 1 February 2021: Brunei Darussalam, as the current Chair of ASEAN, released a ‘Statement on The Developments in The Republic of The Union of Myanmar‘. The statement highlighted the values in the ASEAN Charter and called for the return to normalcy under the will and interests of the peoples of Myanmar.
2) Summary of UN Response
- 1 April 2021: The UN Security Council condemned Myanmar junta’s use of violence against peaceful protesters.
- 12 March 2021: The UN Human Rights Council’s debate on Myanmar saw the unequivocal condemnation of the coup and the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar suggested the military’s violence against peaceful protestors could amount to crimes against humanity; called for coordinated international action on the military.
- 10 March 2021: The UN Security Council unanimously called for a reversal of the military coup in Myanmar and condemned the military’s violence against peaceful protestors.
- 12 February 2021: the UN Human Rights Council held a special session on the human rights implications of Myanmar’s crisis.
- 4 February 2021: The President of the UN Security Council issued a press statement expressing deep concern at the declaration of the state of emergency in Myanmar and calling for the immediate release of all those detained including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.
FORUM-ASIA’s public interventions
[Media Lines] FORUM-ASIA’s response to today’s ASEAN Summit on Myanmar: Failure in addressing the Myanmar crisis is a failure to uphold human rights and democracy in the region – 24 April 2021
[Media Lines] Myanmar: The relentless and intensifying violence on peaceful protesters must stop now – 3 March 2021
[Media Lines] Myanmar: FORUM-ASIA’s response to Myanmar’s escalation of violence and internet shutdown – 15 February 2021
- [Joint Statement] ASEAN: Implement Five-Point Consensus without further delay; allow meaningful civil society participation – 24 May 2021
- [Joint Statement] Global civil society statement on Myanmar – 5 May 2021
- [Joint Statement] ASEAN: Leaders’ Meeting fails ASEAN peoples’ aspiration for human rights and democracy – 30 April 2021
[Joint Statement] Myanmar: Brutal crackdown and targeting of human rights defenders and civil society continue – 1 April 2021
[Joint Statement] International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and State Donors: Stop loans and fully reassess Myanmar policy in light of coup d’état Do not fund the military junta or its cronies – 25 March 2021
[UN Human Rights Council Statement] 46th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, Oral Statement on Item 4: General Debate on human rights situations that require the Council’s attention – 12 March 2021
[UN Human Rights Council Statement] 46th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, Oral Statement on Item 4: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar – 11 March 2021
[Statement] International Partners Must End all Cooperation with the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission – 11 March 2021
[Joint Statement] ASEAN: Regional process should be aligned with Myanmar peoples’ aspiration – 1 March 2021
[Joint Statement] Malaysia Defies Court Order, Putting Lives in Imminent Danger – 1 March 2021
[Statement] Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) Must Denounce the Military Coup and Uphold Fundamental Rights of Peoples – 16 February 2021
[UN Human Rights Council Statement] 29th Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar: Oral Statement – 12 February 2021
[Joint Statement] Myanmar military should end its use of violence and respect democracy – 1 February 2021
[Joint Open Letter] Call for a Global Arms Embargo on Myanmar: An Open Letter to the UN Security Council and Individual UN Member States – 25 February 2021
[Joint Open Letter] ASEAN’s Response to the Military Coup in Myanmar – 19 February 2021
[Joint Open Letter] Civil Society Organisations Call on the UN Human Rights Council’s Immediate Action to ensure the Protection of Demonstrators – 9 February 2021
[Joint Open Letter] Joint Call For Human Rights Council Special Session on Myanmar – 5 February 2021
[Brief] One Vision, Different Responses: An Analysis of ASEAN Member States’ Responses to the Myanmar Coup and Recommendations – 22 April 2021
- [Press Conference] Analysis of the Special ASEAN Summit on Myanmar and its impact on human rights and democracy – 26 April 2021
- [Online Summit] Southeast Asia Peoples’ Summit on Myanmar – 22 April 2021
[Online Public Dialogue] One Vision, Different Responses: Public Dialogue on ASEAN Responses to Myanmar – 22 April 2021
[Webinar and HRC46 Side Event] Protection for Human Rights Defenders in Asia: At the frontlines of movements for human rights and democracy – 4 March 2021
Call to Action
1. Write a Letter, Share It on Social Media, and Send It to ASEAN and UN Leaders!
- Send a letter to ASEAN foreign ministers. You can find the letter template here (PDF). If you wish to publish your letter on social media, you can find the visual templates here (PNG). Share on social media, use the following hashtags #SolidarityForMyanmar / #StandWithMyanmar / #SupportMyanmar / #EndTheCoup, / #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar, and tag the ASEAN Foreign Ministers. You can find their emails and Twitter handles here
- Send a letter to the UN Human Rights Council Member State’s foreign ministers and the country mission based in Geneva. You can find the template here (PDF). If you wish to publish your letter on social media, you can find the visual templates here (PNG). Share on social media, use the following hashtags #SolidarityForMyanmar / #StandWithMyanmar / #SupportMyanmar / #EndTheCoup / #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar, and tag them. You can find the emails and Twitter handles here
2. Share this page to raise awareness
3. Express your solidarity using #SolidarityForMyanmar / #StandWithMyanmar / #SupportMyanmar / #EndTheCoup / #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar. Take a picture showing your support or share a poster [please click here for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & and Stories].
You can also use any of the following tweet templates:
- Violations committed by the #Myanmar military could amount to crimes against humanity. Still, the peoples of Myanmar risk their lives every day to protest for democracy. I express #SolidarityForMyanmar in its fight and call to #EndTheCoup
- The intl. community must intervene in #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar to prevent the violence from escalating and hear the voices of #Myanmar’s relentless pursuit for #freedom and #democracy in the face of repression by the junta. I #StandWithMyanmar in its relentless fight
- All efforts to address #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar must be based on the voices, interests and aspirations of all peoples of #Myanmar. I #SupportMyanmar and call on the intl. community and regional actors to listen to the peoples of Myanmar and #EndTheCoup