Burma

Myanmar’s Civilian President Demands Deeper International Support 

By The Irrawaddy 18 April 2022

The acting president of Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG), Duwa Lashi La, called on the international community to double support for Myanmar’s people to save lives and help create a federal democratic union.

Formed as a parallel government on April 16 last year, largely by elected lawmakers from the ousted National League for Democracy and their ethnic minority allies, the NUG has enjoyed popular support at home and abroad. A majority of Myanmar’s people see it as their legitimate government, while the regime has branded it a terrorist organization.

In his state of the union address to mark a year since the NUG’s formation, Duwa Lashi La expressed gratitude for the international community’s diplomatic support in isolating the illegitimate junta and imposing targeted sanctions.

“However, I would like to stress the urgency,” he said. “Each day the military murders and tortures more innocent men, women and children.

“As the world is witnessing the atrocities and crimes committed by the Russian military in Ukraine, we too are witnessing the tyrannical military in Myanmar committing similar atrocities and crimes against the entire population for over a year,” he said.

Since seizing power on Feb. 1 last year, the regime has slaughtered at least 1,756 people, many of whom were engaging in anti-regime activism. 

The regime has killed numerous children and elderly people in its escalated terror campaign. 

Rights groups have reported more than 100 child deaths since the coup. The regime has burned down at least 9,187 civilian homes, with the resistance stronghold of Sagaing Region suffering the heaviest damage, according to the independent research group Data for Myanmar.

Amid rising violence the NUG declared a “people’s war” on Sept. 7 last year against the regime, taking the armed struggle to another level.

“Support our efforts to enable the people to defend themselves from atrocities. The people can and will win. Lives will be saved if you provide support,” the ethnic Kachin acting president said.

He also called for support for the civil disobedience movement and People’s Embrace program, which helps military defectors to resettle. According to the NUG, around 10,000 police and military defectors have left their posts through the People’s Embrace.

“The international community can help stop further bloodshed by providing aid and asylum to those who have sought refuge through People’s Embrace,” he added.

On Saturday, the NUG reported that its armed wing, in the numerous people’s defense forces, and ethnic allies, controlled around half of the country, particularly rural areas, as well as positions around several major cities.

Duwa Lashi La said the NUG has built trust and cooperation with many ethnic armies and is working to build unity with all ethnic organizations.

“We shall make every effort to protect the people from the brutally violent assaults of the junta’s forces. At the same time, we will continue working to free people and territory under the domination of the military council.

“I am convinced that we will succeed in the end, and the people will win back the entire country.”

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