Myanmar Spring Chronicle – January 09 Scenes
MoeMaKa, January 10, 2023
Helpless Rohingya; How about the election? When will the ASEAN 5-Point Consensus be implemented?
In January of the new year 2023, can we say that every individual and organization started to take more plans and steps? On the news pages of the military council, their peace efforts and preparations for the 2023 elections are highlighted. The NUG government and revolutionary forces have also released more information about territorial control and battles. There will undoubtedly be more crises and challenges ahead for the unarmed. The future is still uncertain day by day for refugees in the forest, mountains, and across the border, as well as for families who sought refuge in cities to escape the fires of war.
Even those who have fled the war on the mainland have already sympathized with the long struggle of the ethnic minorities on the border and the Rohingya minority, whose situation is far worse than their own.
RFA news reported that about 100 Rohingya families who fled from Rakhine State and refugee camps in Bangladesh were arrested in Ayeyarwaddy Division while trying to travel to Malaysia through Myanmar inland.
Rohingya activists told RFA that 57 men and 47 women, including 12 Rohingya children under the age of 18, who were arrested in the town of Bogale, Ayeyarwaddy Division, were sentenced to two to five years in prison by the military council’s Bogale Township Court on January 5.
A refugee aid group commented that Myanmar people, like the Rohingya, are wandering around seeking refuge in safe places. The news also said that those fleeing the war face being arrested and detained by the military council.
The military council granted amnesty to 237 Rohingya, 129 men and 108 women, who were imprisoned in Yangon’s Insein Prison on January 4, 2023. Myanmar minorities and families have been arrested and detained by the security forces of the military council, and their financial assets have been looted and confiscated.
The military council is already preparing for elections in 2023. According to reports, the first phase of voting list collection, population census collection and verification has already begun. Rather than a census or a list, it is said to be a stage of assessing people who can still live in their current houses. The administrative offices they control already have the guest lists and main household lists. It’s also a sense that they began to gather groups of workers and residents from the neighborhood, towns, and villages, like sweat soldiers, who would nod their heads and do their assigned tasks.
After 2009 Cyclone Nargis, when the people were in chaos, the military dictator Than Shwe passed the 2008 constitution by holding a referendum on the whole country by force. At that time, no matter how well they put on a show with volunteers and staff in polling stations, no matter how many people voted against, they forced the referendum to be held and approved the 2008 Constitution in a disfigured and disreputable manner on the false premise that voter turnout was greater than 100%.
U Than Shwe handed over power to the military party’s (USDP) government in the 2010 election, which was activated by the 2008 Constitution, by forcing the people to vote with all kinds of limitations and obstacles so that U Thein Sein, a puppet of his civilian clothes dictator, would be elected. They established a government based on a large number of military votes and absentee votes back then, despite international criticism and the people’s opposition. It was also seen that they invited minority political parties at their will to stage the election.
There is no doubt that if military dictators with such experience and so many years of manipulation skills are allowed to hold elections as they wish, they will be able to forcefully fabricate the election. Everyone knows that he can dance with his audience. If the 2023 election can be done in any way, I think that this election is a step to invalidate the 2020 election results (like the 1990 election results).
Because of these factors, it can be assumed that the Spring Revolutionary forces and the NUG themselves are firmly stating that the election of the military council must not take place.
Another piece of news is that the implementation of the 5-Point Consensus adopted by ASEAN regarding Myanmar is important, and the 2 leaders of Indonesia and Malaysia urged the military council to implement this.
After the 2021 coup, 2 leaders referred to the 5 points that were agreed upon by the leader of the military council, General Min Aung Hlaing, in April 2021. 5-Points Consensus were discussed and demanded at the Jakarta meeting on April 24, 2021: 1. an immediate cessation of violence 2. Stakeholder meeting and discussion 3. An ASEAN Special Envoy to intervene and coordinate for such dialogues to take place 4. Providing humanitarian assistance through ASEAN 5. The ASEAN Special Envoy to come to Myanmar and to meet with all parties concerned.
As for the military leader, Min Aung Hlaing, who is preparing for the 2023 election, it is not known whether he is thinking that he will implement the 5 points only after the results of the 2023 election.