The decision on the Myanmar issue is only in our own hands

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – July 14 Scenes

MoeMaKa, July 15, 2023

The decision on the Myanmar issue is only in our own hands

The words ‘Myanmar’s political crisis’ and ‘armed conflict’ have been seen in international news since February 1, 2021. Even for those who live in Myanmar, the word “Myanmar’s political crisis” is often heard in the news, and in their daily lives, there are shootings, bombings, people fleeing the villages, houses being burned down, and people accused of armed resistance or supporters being shot dead in villages without inquiry. People who have a little bit of money are fleeing to the cities and living there.

Due to widespread war in Sagaing Region, Mandalay Region, Mon State, Karen State, Karenni, Kachin and Chin States, local people are fleeing their villages, fleeing to neighboring countries, or fleeing to the city for a period of time.

These days, the most frequently heard words during the ASEAN meeting regarding the political crisis in Myanmar are ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus (5PC), dialogue, humanitarian aid, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and NUG.

At a time when there are daily battles on the ground in various regions of Myanmar, and people are losing their lives while fleeing, ASEAN leaders are speaking in the dialogue to find a comprehensive solution to this issue. Meetings and conferences of ASEAN countries, which are usually held at least twice a year, were expected to find answers to the political crisis in Myanmar.


Now, at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, we are hoping to see how the implementation of the 5PC will be pressured regarding the Myanmar issue and whether there is a positive outcome from Thailand’s own ideas and efforts to intervene in the Myanmar issue.


In the midst of fleeing from armed conflicts, and the devaluation of the kyat due to the economic sanctions, mismanagement, and cost of the war, which are the consequences of the military coup, the public is wondering how the international community can put more pressure on the military council or whether they will support the revolutionary forces with actual material goods.


Myanmar’s democratic forces hope that the United States, which has been imposing sanctions on the military council one after another in Myanmar’s political crisis, will take further action. But, the US Secretary of State said that they would continue to support ASEAN’s activities and refer Myanmar issue to ASEAN.


It will be seen that the non-lethal aid that will help Myanmar’s democratic revival, which is included in the National Defense Authorization Act approved at the end of last year, has not yet started to be provided. Because China and some other countries’ maritime territorial issues in Southeast Asia and the Taiwan issue are more important to the United States of America than the Myanmar issue, although it fully encourages and supports the Myanmar issue in terms of morale, it will also be seen that it does not personally help or participate in the Myanmar issue that borders China.


Indonesia, the rotating chairman of ASEAN, said that there have been 110 diplomatic contacts and discussions in the past 6 months, but did not disclose the results.


Before this time, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister said that Myanmar’s problems are complicated and that it is impossible to hope for a solution in a short period of time, and that the immediate goal is to continue discussing political issues around the table after the current violence is stopped.


Thailand has temporarily accepted tens of thousands of refugees for a limited period of time if armed conflicts occur in border areas between Myanmar and Thailand. Also, it is concerned about people who have illegally crossed the border and entered into political asylum, and the risk of heavy weapons falling towards their country, as well as flights crossing the air, every time there are fights near the border. Under the Thai political system that allows military generals and King’s members to be in influential political fields, parliament, and important places, the Thai generals seem to sympathize with the Myanmar military coup council. On the other hand, in order not to lose face with Western allies, Thailand has been following some human rights standards in dealing with issues related to Myanmar.


In summary, after the end of the ASEAN meeting, the fact that we can consider is that there is no possibility of stricter pressure from ASEAN in the near future or the possibility of pushing the military council. As the United States considers other world affairs to be more important than Myanmar affairs, Myanmar affairs depend mainly on the strength and political understanding of its domestic forces, and I think it is more important to organize domestic forces than to mobilize internationally.