NGOs Dismiss Myanmar Regime Claims of Cooperation

By The Irrawaddy 10 March 2021

The five international organizations have denied having any discussions with Myanmar’s military regime after the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement announced cooperation with them.

On Tuesday, a ministerial press release announced ongoing cooperation with several NGOs.

The ministry’s assistance director, U Ba Than, said Daw Thet Thet Khine plans to cooperate with People In Need, Trocaire, ChildFund Myanmar, Christian Aid and Mercy Corps, according to the statement.

Within hours, all five NGOs said they had not attended a meeting or signed any agreements with the ministry since the February 1 coup.

The ministry is being led by Daw Thet Thet Khine, who was appointed by the military regime.

She was a National League for Democracy Lower House lawmaker but left the party in 2019 and established the People’s Pioneer Party (PPP).

Her party performed poorly in the November 8 general election with Daw Thet Thet Khine receiving just 7 percent of the vote in her constituency, compared to 83 percent for the NLD candidate.

Trocaire, which provides basic needs to citizens in developing countries, said it had a memorandum of understanding in the process of renewal since the beginning of 2020 but denied holding talks since the coup.

ChildFund Myanmar, which provides financial and technical support for child protection and education, said it was standing with Myanmar’s people during this time of great distress.

In Myanmar, hundreds of thousands of citizens have taken to the streets to protest against the military regime.

Around 60 protesters have been killed during crackdowns by the junta.

By Wednesday, around 2,000 people, including elected leaders, election commissioners, journalists, writers, actors and striking civil servants, have been detained.

Around 1620 of them are still in detention or have faced charges, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

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