Myanmar Spring Chronicle – The statement of the UN Special Envoy & the response of the Military Council

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – August 19 Scenes

MoeMaKa, August 20 2022

The statement of the UN Special Envoy & the response of the Military Council

The military council released the full statement of the meeting with the UN Special Envoy this evening due to dissatisfaction with the statement issued by the United Nations after the meeting with the military council during the trip of the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy, Noleen Heyzer. The purposes of making it public in particular were because they wanted to respond to the fact expressed by the UN that this meeting was not its recognition of the military council as legal entity and they wanted to show their denials about the handling of the armed revolution happening domestically.

According to the etiquette and diplomatic procedures that should be followed, a detailed discussion of what was said in such a discussion must not be published. They released such details because the military council might assume the deteriorating relationship with the UN was not their concern.

If we look at the statements of this meeting, we can see that the military council is unhappy with the fact that, instead of supporting the coup military council, the NUG supporter was given a seat as Myanmar’s Permanent Representative of the UN, and Myanmar’s seat is half vacant. The military council responded by saying that the UN made unilateral statements. It is seen that such words and expressions are frequently used in the objections issued frequently by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of SAC. At the beginning of the discussions, the leader of the military council criticized their assumption that there were unilateral statements from the UN. They meant they were only criticizing the actions of the military and there was no criticism of the actions of armed groups fighting against the army.
Another thing is that the United Nations has requested not to launch aerial bombing attacks and arson attacks on houses, but the leader of the military council bluntly denied that. They blatantly denied that their army were only working to attack the enemy and there was absolutely no civilian attack and no burning down of people’s houses. It didn’t mean that they did not commit arson at all, but it meant that the houses that were burned were not civilians’ houses, but those who participated in the armed rebellion attack. In the actual situation, rather than whose house or which house, it is already evident in the statements of the news and victims that the houses of the entire village were being burned without being chosen. The method of setting fire to houses has been used by the Myanmar military for ages. Not so long ago, in 2017, it was already evident that when the Rohingya villages in northern Rakhine were cleared, the junta accused and killed civilians as members of the terrorist group, burned down their houses, and made it difficult for them to resettle.

It is obvious to see the incident where almost the entire city of Thantalan was destroyed by fire. It also means that the city closest to the territory of the CNF armed forces was destroyed on purpose. 

It seems that the military council purposely wanted to release the statement that the UN Special Envoy was the first to recognize that both sides were committing acts of violence, in the words of the military council’s disclosed dialogue. The military council wanted to express that the meaning of the Special Envoy was that violence was done by not only the military council but also the PDFs.

This publication of the discussion in detail was an unusual event in diplomacy and there is a possibility that the UN will be criticized by Myanmar’s anti-military forces. I think it can be concluded that all possibilities of the UN’s humanitarian assistance and intervention in the political crisis could have been lost.

Just today, some ministers of the military council were transferred and replaced. Some state government leaders were also replaced. Over one and half years after the formation of the military council, although the expansion of the ministry, replacing the ministers and, replacing, giving retirement and taking action to the State and Division Ministers were done for more than once, law enforcement and economic decline have been continuing.