Guest Column

Victory is around the corner for Myanmar

By Nay Phone Latt 17 January 2022

While people around the world celebrated the New Year of 2022 hoping to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, the Myanmar people are battling twin crises: coronavirus and the military’s coup. Even on 4 January 2022, the 74th anniversary of Independence Day, the Myanmar people were unable to enjoy the taste of freedom, as Duwa Lashi La, Acting President of the civilian National Unity Government (NUG), put it in his Independence Day speech. Instead, they are in an epic battle for their independence with the fascist dictator and coup leader, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the Murderer-in-Chief, and his minions, who have been described as among the worst and most ruthless of all time.

This terrorist organization no longer deserves the name military or Tatmadaw, as an honorable military is called in Burmese. The Myanmar military has become the enemy of the people. After many months of peaceful struggle despite the junta’s brutal attacks, all the people of Myanmar have only one choice left at this time: to overthrow this fascist dictatorship by any means possible by joining hands together in a people’s resistance war. It is our people’s second fight for independence.

That’s right. Our people are in the midst of fighting a second war for independence. During World War II, the people of Myanmar fought and won their independence from the British and Japanese whose armies were far more powerful and sophisticated. We are now forced to launch a second war of independence to free our people from the yoke of the fascist military. The whole country and people from all ethnic groups are now united against this tyrannical regime and are united in their resolve to eradicate this monstrous institution called the Tatmadaw.

As the tables have turned unexpectedly against the military regime, the junta has started singing a different tune. It began a misinformation campaign against the National League for Democracy Party and announced that military officials are planning to meet with the leaders of the NUG in the Thai border town of Mae Sot. Meanwhile the junta’s soldiers continue to burn people alive and raze entire villages. The junta tries to spin its brutal and violent attacks against unarmed citizens as “peacekeeping”, in a feeble attempt to justify the blood on the streets of Yangon, the ashes of the town of Thantlang in Chin State and the charred bodies of innocent civilians in Hpruso Township, Kayah State, to name just a few of the military’s massacres.

The junta’s call for dialogue is clearly disingenuous. History has demonstrated that their promises and commitments cannot be trusted. Traditionally, calls for dialogue have been used by the military as a ploy to trick the international community. The junta are trying to escape their crimes, after realizing that their attempt to seize power has failed due to persistent nationwide opposition. After seeing the horrifying images of the military’s massive air strikes on ethnic Christian villages on Christmas Day, the Myanmar people are in no mood for dialogue without the junta leadership being held responsible for their crimes.

Acting NUG President Duwa Lashi La, in his Independence Day speech, stated that the “dialogue table is not the right place for criminals with blood on their hands. In fact, criminal courts are where they belong. The NUG will always open its arms to soldiers who, despite being under the command of the junta, despise the terrorist acts of the institution, and who believe that the role of the military is to protect the nation and its people, not to be involved in politics.”

The time has passed to sit at the same table and talk to a mass murderer like Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing and his minions. The only option left is to bring these perpetrators to the International Court of Justice. Also, this fascist organization is in serious tatters after 10 months of the people’s uprising against military rule. The unprecedented number of soldiers defecting and being killed in action increases daily. Plagued by extremely low morale within the ranks and battle-fatigued from nonstop fighting across the country, the military has become an ineffective fighting force. They are losing every battle on the ground against the combined forces of the ethnic armed groups (EAOs) and the people’s defense forces (PDFs). The military is having to rely heavily on its air power at this moment. The combined forces of the EAOs and PDFs are quickly adapting to that and are able to neutralize the impact of the junta’s airstrikes, just as they adapted successfully to fighting the military’s ground forces. At the same time, the junta continues to spin the facts of what is happening to mislead its dwindling group of supporters and to deceive the international community.

As noted by Acting President Duwa Lashi La, “Within the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), a coalition of political forces for genuine federalism and democracy, the Federal Democratic Charter, which contains a political roadmap for the future of the Union of Myanmar, has been discussed and agreed. The NUG will adhere to this agreement and will work relentlessly to implement the political roadmap.”

Everyone in Myanmar is truly united in their commitment to this roadmap. The NUCC-drafted Federal Democratic Charter is how the NUG will continue to walk with all the peoples of Myanmar. That leaves a choice for the handful who are sitting on the fence: will they choose the pro-people federal democratic union drafted by the people (inclusive of all minority groups) and join the fight? Or will they choose the way of short-term prosperity by collaborating with the fascist regime? The time has come for all people to show courage. From the wildly successful nationwide silent strike, to the returning sound of pots and pans being banged in defiance and the continuous flow of logistical and fiscal support to the EAOs and PDFs, we clearly know that the Myanmar people are amazingly united and more committed than ever. They all share the one and only goal, which is to end the era of military dictators once and for all in Myanmar. The final victory is just around the corner for the people of Myanmar.

Nay Phone Latt is a former lawmaker from Myanmar’s ousted National League for Democracy Party for Yangon Region 2016-2020. 

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