Media Release from Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
On 1 April, BROUK hosted five esteemed panelist as part of an online event to discuss international action on the coup in Myanmar. Thin Lei Win moderated the event as more than 400 attendees joined to hear Dr. Sasa, Thomas Andrews, Naomi Kikoler, and Matthew Smith, and BROUK president Tun Khin discuss the current situation in Myanmar and action needed from the international community to overturn the military coup and establish a true democracy in Myanmar.
The discussion also featured an emphasis from several panelists about the importance of cutting economic ties that sustain the military.
“The international community must stop giving the money for weapons to the military,” said Dr. Sasa, UN Special Envoy of CRPH. “The international community must stop supplying them with weapons. The companies that are doing business in Myanmar, they need to stop doing business with the military.”
Matthew Smith, CEO of Fortify Rights agreed and emphasized the importance of cutting off oil and gas revenues that benefit the military, “The multinational oil companies that are still operating in Myanmar, including French Total, American Chevron and Malaysian Petronas, they are handing revenue over to this illegitimate regime. Those payments should stop immediately.”
Thomas Andrews added that the oil and gas sector should be the focus of future sanctions, “You can also impose sanctions, these companies would have to follow the law. So we should move forward on a sanctions regime that includes the oil and gas sector.”
All panelist emphasized that the international community must stop waiting for the UN security council to take leadership on justice and accountability in Myanmar.
“There is a need for justice, a need for targeted sanctions, a need for a global arms embargo, for ASEAN to step up,” said Naomi Kikoler, Director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. “We have to be creative and think outside of the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council.”
Panelists expressed an urgent need for individual countries to take the initiative to build coalitions for strong collective action on Myanmar. “If you are not going to have action through the UN Security council or the General Assembly, then sympathetic countries need to come together in an emergency summit for the people of Myanmar,” said Thomas Andrews, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights on Myanmar. “They should coordinate action, both on sanctions and weapon embargoes, but also on financial support for humanitarian assistance that does not go through the military junta.”
Panelists also presented complentary visions for a future democratic Myanmar and expressed solidarity with protesters and the nationwide civil disobedience movement.
“The solidarity that many of the protesters and the CDM have shown with Rohingya has encouraged me to believe that a future democratic Burma is possible,” said Tun Khin. “I am thankful from the bottom of my heart, that they acknowledge that the genocide has happened to us.”
Dr Sasa promised that CRPH would deliver a federal democracy that would represent all people in Myanmar, “We promise to deliver a democratic federal union of Myanmar. We promise to set up the government of Myanmar for the people, not the military. We will protect the rights of all, freedom of all, justice of all.”
Lastly, Tun Khin added that he hoped CRPH would truly include Rohingya as equals, “I hope that CRPH will also be brave enough to speak up officially and respect the ethnic and citizenship rights of Rohingya as they develop a more representative political body. If they are willing to work together, we the Rohingya diaspora, are ready to help them take advantage of every avenue at the international level to ensure that our fight for justice is truly inclusive and democratic for all of Burma’s people.”
For more information, please contact Tun Khin +44 (0)7888714866.