Myanmar Spring Chronicle – August 23 Scenes
MoeMaKa, August 24, 2023
Armed Attack & Political Leadership
At the military council’s press conference held these days, a news agency supported by the military council, which was once supported by the USDP party, and another junta-backed news agency brought up provocative questions about ethnic armed groups and PDF groups.
Since most of the independent media can no longer stand openly in the country, it has become almost impossible to attend the press conference held by the military council. Only the media supported by the USDP party, the crime reporter, and the news media, which received support from the military through the money and openly wrote in the emphasis of the military council, attended and asked questions. It would be more appropriate to call it a propaganda event rather than a press conference.
They raised provocative questions in the sense of supporting the military council, such as whether there is a plan to suppress armed groups decisively or to declare them terrorist organizations. The military council said that in order to discuss with PDFs, they need to admit to the world that they will no longer do terrorist acts and condemn the terrorist acts.
Again, the propagandist media mentioned above brought up the provocative question to the military council about whether some ethnic armed groups that are providing military training and military leadership to the PDF should not be declared terrorist organizations. On the military council’s side, they have been attacking some ethnic armed organizations by using both ground and air forces, but they avoided answering the question of whether to declare them terrorist organizations or not.
The armed organizations that emerged after the military coup, such as the People’s Defence Forces under the NUG and the armed organizations generally known as the PDF that emerged in each region and village, have stated in interviews with the news media that they will continue to attack until the coup military surrenders or is completely defeated.
On the other hand, Foreign Minister Daw Zin Mar Aung answered in a media interview that the NUG considers the armed path as the path it is holding in the current situation and does not reject the path of dialogue when a certain stage is reached.
It can be said that it is natural for political leaders to have this kind of attitude, and they understand it according to the saying that a political problem must be addressed on the table as a dialogue at the end.
However, in the current situation, many people involved in the armed movement will not be able to accept that the political problem must be resolved through political means in the end. It may also raise the question of whether the situation can be resolved politically. It can be said that it will be possible when the power is equalized, when their position as the enemy is no longer a position of advantage or dominance, or when the unity among them is broken.
You will see that most of those involved in the armed movement have the goal of rooting out the military forces and eliminating them so that they don’t exist even as a force under armed attack. In practice, there is a question of how many months or years this situation can occur in the estimated period, but it will be difficult to answer.
The question of whether there is a political leadership, or, in other words, a political leadership party or a political organization, in the current armed movement and anti-dictatorship movement in Myanmar has also arisen. It must be said that it is still not clear whether it is the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), the NLD party, or both. It is true that the NUCC formed the NUG government, but later on, the role of the NUCC is seen to have gradually faded.
I also want to say that it is time to review whether the leading political party/organization is leading the armed movement or whether the armed organizations are acting on their own decisions in the armed movement. In the armed movements, there may be the opinion that it is enough as long as they fight against the military council and hate the military dictator, and there is no need for other political leadership. Such an understanding and acceptance may lead to difficulties in dealing with some of the consequences of the armed movement, such as abuse of power, tax issues, the situation where there is no political unity between armed organizations and only interest-based relations, etc.
The crimes committed by the group led by Bo Thanmani in Yinmarbin Township, which appeared within a few months after the military coup, the incident in Pakokku’s Yay Lal Kyun, the incident in Saw Township, and the incident in Chaung-U, where underage boys and girls were killed and their bodies were discarded, are instances of the abuse of power, bullying by weapons, and fundraising by the use of weapons. It seems that these problems can be solved only if there is a political leadership organization and political unity among the armed organizations.