Myanmar Spring Chronicle – March 14 Scenes
MoeMaKa, March 15 2023
The effect of the UN Security Council’s closed-door discussion on Myanmar issue; Attempt to break Taung Lay Lone Prison in Nyaung Shwe Township
The United Nations held a closed-door meeting at the Security Council on March 13 with the aim of more effectively addressing the armed attacks, violence, arrests, killings and serious human rights violations that have been taking place since the military coup in Myanmar.
At the meeting, the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, and the current ASEAN rotating chairman, Indonesia’s foreign minister, presented.
What has been presented and discussed in the meeting has not yet been released. The UK ambassador, who is the rotating chairman of the Security Council, further stated that he supports the ASEAN 5-Point Consensus adopted in April 2021 regarding the Myanmar issue. It is not yet known in detail how Noeleen Heyzer, appointed as a special envoy for Myanmar for over one year, reported and what the Security Council member countries discussed.
The UN Special Envoy for Myanmar visited Myanmar for the first time in 2022, months after her appointment, and met with the military leader. However, after the meeting, the full content of the discussion was released due to the disagreement of the military council with the UN press release. The fact that the military council no longer uses diplomatic tricks with the United Nations and publishing the details of the discussion, implies that it does not care about the United Nations. It can be concluded that the military council has discontent with the UN’s appointment of U Kyaw Moe Tun, who participated in CDM, to continue as the ambassador to the UN. So, the military council responded without using diplomatic tricks and paying attention to the special envoy of the UN.
Although the United Nations Security Council decided to adopt a resolution regarding Myanmar at the end of last year, something that had never been done before, the fact that there was no time limit for implementing the resolution, and how to take action if it was not implemented was also criticized.
It is not yet known whether the meeting will come up with a time limit for the implementation of the Security Council’s resolution decided at the end of last year.
On the other hand, the ASEAN 5-Point Consensus does not have a time limit like the Security Council’s resolution, so it is wondering whether it will continue to exist as a decision or agreement that have good intentions but cannot be implemented.
As for the Myanmar military council, the UN Special Envoy’s statements, resolutions and calls from UN meetings directly embarrass them, so the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement that it could not accept the UN resolutions and calls and rejected them. Even if the results of the Security Council’s closed-door meeting were to come out, it is unlikely that the military council would comply.
It remains to be seen whether the efforts of Indonesia, the current chair of ASEAN, will have a greater impact than those of the United Nations on the Myanmar issue this year.
Another piece of news for today is that the prison staff opened fire at some political inmates who tried to escape by climbing over the wall of Taung Lay Lone prison in Nyaung Shwe Township, also known as Taunggyi Prison in Shan State, killing one inmate and injuring two others. An initial news report stated that about 10 prisoners had escaped, but when more news reports came out later, there was no more information about the escape of about 10 people.
Taung Lay Lone Prison is located on the side of the highway leading to Khaungtaing on the west side of Inlay Lake, Nyaung Shwe Township. It is a prison that holds political arrestees and those sentenced to prison for cases that occurred in Taunggyi Township. Because tens of thousands of people were detained and given prison sentences under the military council, nearly every prison is home to over ten thousand inmates who have received prison sentences under Section 505(A) of the political code and the anti-terrorist code. The lack of independence of the judiciary and the arrest and excessive punishment of those who opposed the military coup led to overcrowding in prisons and frequent prison riots.
Before this incident, there was the last prison riot in Pathein Prison, and in that prison riot, 2 people who were detained for political crimes were killed. One of the main causes of prison riots is the increasing number of oppression of political prisoners discriminately.