Myanmar’s Acting President Demands Protection For Civilians

By The Irrawaddy 18 January 2023

Duwa Lashi La, the acting president of Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG), says protecting civilians is as important as eliminating the military regime, amid attacks on junta election preparations.

Resistance groups in Yangon, Mandalay, Monywa in Sagaing Region, Launglon in Tanintharyi Region and Thaton in Mon State have attacked voter registration sites where junta administrators are compiling household registrations for the planned general election.

Five junta personnel, including two police officers and a ward administrator, have been killed.

While most attacks were non-lethal, resistance groups warned that future attacks will be bloody and urged the public to stay away from regime officials. However, junta forces have been summoning the public to submit their details.

Duwa Lashi La said he bows down when he thinks of the revolutionary spirit and people’s determination to resist the dictatorship each day.

“The NUG sees the elimination of the military regime as the first priority but the protection of the lives and property of the public is our first priority too,” he told a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

He urged revolutionary leaders to use the correct tactics to oppose the junta’s planned election.

The election is widely seen as an attempt by the junta to tighten its grip on power following the 2021 coup.

The NUG, revolutionary forces and democracies around the world have denounced any election as a sham. The United States and United Nations have said any election held by the regime will be neither free nor fair.

Ethnic armed organizations, including the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Karen National Union and Kachin Independence Army, rejected the planned election and warned administrators not to take part.