247 civilsamhällesorganisationer kritiserar uttalanden som FN-sändebudet Noeleen Heyzer gjorde i en intervju med CNA./Foto: Korean Culture and Information Service

Gemensamt uttalande med anledning av intervju med FN-sändebud

Gemensamt uttalande, Stockholm, 3 februari 2022

Svenska Burmakommittén och 246 andra civilsamhällesorganisationer tar avstånd från FN-sändebudet Noeleen Heyzers uttalande om maktdelning med militären. I ett gemensamt uttalande kritiserar organisationerna ett antal av de påståenden som sändebudet gjorde i en intervju med CNA den 31 januari 2021.

I intervjun påstod Noeleen Heyzer bland annat att militären har kontroll över landet och att de som motsätter sig juntan bör förhandla om en maktdelning med militären, något som i dagsläget är oacceptabelt för motståndsrörelsen.

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2 February 2022

Civil Society organizations reject UN Special Envoy’s proposal of “power sharing”
Raise alarm at her misinterpretation that the “military are in control”

247 civil society organizations reject UN Special Envoy, Dr Noeleen Heyzer’s proposal that those defying the military must negotiate a power sharing as a solution to the current political, human rights and humanitarian crisis created by the terrorist military junta.

In an interview with Channel News Asia, the Special Envoy discusses finding “commonalities”, a political transformation requiring process and a “need to negotiate what this power sharing could look like”. Her comments have been met with strong reactions.

We further raise alarm at the comments she made during her interview in which she claims that “The military is in control at this particular time”. These statements could set a dangerous precedent, that those who take control through brutal means – massacring, killing, raping, arresting, torturing, burning villages and people, targeting civilians using airstrikes and shelling – be welcomed to share power. Such suggestions send a signal to the military that the UN is willing to act as a broker for their power despite the grave crimes they have committed, and further embolden them to commit atrocities with total impunity.

The youth who are continuing to call for an end to the military’s terror are not being unrealistic in their efforts to see their human rights and fundamental freedoms protected. Their calls reflect the principles laid out in the UN Charter and deserve the full support and respect of UN mandate holders.

In addition, it is not required of revolutionary movements to end in a power sharing agreement with those that have committed genocide and continue to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity.

History has shown us that coups around the world have failed, and revolutions have succeeded. Those who have committed grave international crimes must be held accountable, not offered more power, a seat at the table and legitimacy by the international community. This will only embolden them to continue to commit grave crimes with total impunity.

It has been over a decade since the military initiated their political process of power sharing. This consisted of unelected military officials holding 25% of the seats in parliament and control over key ministries that were integral to the governance of Myanmar, under a military-drafted 2008 Constitution that undemocratically ensured their place in the corridors of power.

They stole the wealth of the people of Myanmar for decades during the military dictatorship and throughout the military orchestrated political process of the past decade. They exploited natural resources, while continuing to commit war crimes against people who live in resource-rich ethnic areas.

For over 70 years the military has waged a fierce war against ethnic peoples, committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. While sharing limited power with the National League for Democracy, they committed war crimes and crimes against humanity against ethnic people and genocide against the Rohingya.

The Special Envoy should advise the UN Security Council to immediately refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court so that these grave crimes committed by the Myanmar military can be investigated and prosecuted. Offering them a seat at the negotiating table is not in accordance with the “will and interests of the people of Myanmar” as adopted in resolutions at the UN General Assembly.

The Special Envoy’s misinterpretation that “the military is in control” could not be farther from the truth. Over the past year, Myanmar people’s revolutionary movement has successfully prevented the military from grabbing power over the country, despite all its brutal efforts. The military are, however, conducting fierce airstrikes in ethnic areas where they are losing territorial control; shooting and shelling people forcing them to flee across the border into neighboring countries, threatening international peace and security; burning bodies including children and staff of international organizations in an attempt to instill terror. These are not acts of a military who are in control.

International experts on Myanmar have previously stated in response to UN officials inaccurately suggesting that military has “taken over” or that it has an “iron grip on power”, that “Misinterpretation leads to misrepresentation, misrepresentation leads to misunderstanding, and misunderstanding leads to mistakes”. We could not agree more.

Such mistakes have been a persistent problem for the UN in Myanmar as outlined in the Rosenthal report, which found that systemic and structural failures rendered the UN impotent in the face of the Rohingya genocide. The UN must not make the same mistakes, and once again, fail the people of Myanmar.

If the Special Envoy is genuinely committed to a “Myanmar-led process” and engaging “directly with and listen carefully to all those affected by the ongoing crisis”, she must understand the root causes of the current crisis and genuinely listen to the calls of the people of Myanmar. Their calls have been clear. The military must never rule.

The UN Special Envoy and other mandate holders, as well as UN agencies, funds programs and entities, must support the calls of the people of Myanmar and their efforts towards a future federal democratic Myanmar. They must respect their will and work to ensure that the military is never again allowed to have power.

For further information, please contact:

Khin Ohmar, Progressive Voice, info@progressive-voice.org
Naw Hser Hser, Women’s League of Burma, secretariat@womenofburma.org
Mu Angela, Union of Karenni State Youth, angel.moe1990@gmail.com

Signed by Myanmar CSOs and Supported by Regional and International CSOs:

  1. Action Committee for Democracy Development
  2. Ah Nah Podcast – Conversation with Myanmar
  3. Albany Karen community, Albany, NY
  4. All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress
  5. Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM)
  6. ALTSEAN-Burma
  7. American Rohingya Advocacy/ Arakan Institute for Peace and Development
  8. Arizona Kachin Community
  9. Asia Democracy Network
  10. Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition
  11. Asian Dignity Initiative
  12. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  13. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
  14. Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
  15. Blood Money Campaign
  16. Boat People SOS
  17. Burma Action Ireland
  18. Burma Campaign UK
  19. Burma Canadian Association Ontario (BCAO)
  20. Burma Human Rights Network
  21. Burma Task Force
  22. Burmese American Community Institute (BACI), IN
  23. Burmese American Millennials
  24. Burmese Democratic Forces
  25. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
  26. Burmese Women’s Union
  27. C&D Corporation
  28. Calgary Karen Community Association (CKCA)
  29. California Kachin Community
  30. Cambodian Americans and Friends for Democracy and Human Rights Advocates
  31. Campaign for a New Myanmar
  32. Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative
  33. Chin Leaders of Tomorrow (CLT)
  34. CIVICIS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
  35. Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA)
  36. Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam
  37. CRPH & NUG Supporters Ireland
  38. CRPH Funding Ireland
  39. Dallas Kachin Community
  40. DEEKU, the Karenni Community of TX
  41. Democracy for Ethnic Minorities Organization
  42. Democracy, Peace and Women’s Organization -DPW
  43. Dhanu Women Organization
  44. Dhanu Youth Organization
  45. Edmonton Karen Community Youth Organization
  46. Educational Initiatives Myanmar (Czech Republic)
  47. Equality Myanmar
  48. European Karen Network
  49. European Rohingya Council
  50. Federal FM Mandalay
  51. Florida Kachin Community
  52. Foundation of Khmer Samaki (FKSamaki)
  53. Free Burma Action Bay/USA/Global
  54. Free Myanmar Campaign USA
  55. Freedom for Burma
  56. Freedom, Justice, Equality for Myanmar
  57. Future Light Center
  58. Future Light Women and Child Protection Organization
  59. Future Thanlwin
  60. Generation Wave
  61. Georgia Kachin Community
  62. Global Movement for Myanmar Democracy (GM4MD)
  63. Global Myanmar Spring Revolution (GMSC)
  64. Global Neighbors Canada
  65. Global Neighbors Thailand Foundation
  66. Houston Kachin Community
  67. Human Rights Action Center
  68. Human Rights Foundation of Monland
  69. Info Birmanie
  70. Initiatives for International Dialogue
  71. Institute for Asian Democracy
  72. Inter Pares
  73. International Campaign for the Rohingya
  74. International Karen Organisation
  75. Iowa Kachin Community
  76. Justice for Myanmar
  77. Kachin American Community (Portland – Vancouver)
  78. Kachin Community of Indiana
  79. Kachin Community of USA
  80. Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
  81. Kansas Karenni Community, KS
  82. Karen American Association of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
  83. Karen Association of Huron, SD
  84. Karen Community Association UK
  85. Karen Community in Syracuse, NY
  86. Karen Community in the Netherlands (KCNL)
  87. Karen Community of Akron, OH
  88. Karen Community of Canada (KCC)
  89. Karen Community of Czech Republic
  90. Karen Community of Finland
  91. Karen Community of Hamilton
  92. Karen Community of Iowa, IA
  93. Karen Community of Ireland
  94. Karen Community of Israel
  95. Karen Community of Kansas City, KS & MO
  96. Karen Community of Kitchener & Waterloo
  97. Karen Community of Leamington K
  98. Karen Community of Lethbridge
  99. Karen Community of London
  100. Karen Community of Minnesota, MN
  101. Karen Community of North Carolina, NC
  102. Karen Community of Ottawa
  103. Karen Community of Regina
  104. Karen Community of Rochester, Rochester, NY
  105. Karen Community of Saskatoon
  106. Karen Community of Thunderbay
  107. Karen Community of Toronto
  108. Karen Community of Windsor
  109. Karen Community of Winnipeg
  110. Karen Community Society of British Columbia (KCSBC)
  111. Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
  112. Karen Finland Culture Association
  113. Karen Human Rights Group
  114. Karen Organization of America
  115. Karen Organization of Illinois, IL
  116. Karen Peace Support Network
  117. Karen Rivers Watch
  118. Karen Swedish Community (KSC)
  119. Karen Thai Group
  120. Karen Women’s Organization
  121. Karen Youth Education Pathways
  122. Karen Youth Networks
  123. Karen Youth of Norway
  124. Karen Youth of Toronto
  125. Karen Youth Organization
  126. Karen Youth UK (KYUK)
  127. Karenni Baptist Convention of America
  128. Karenni Civil Society Network
  129. Karenni Community of Amarillo, TX
  130. Karenni Community of Arizona
  131. Karenni Community of Arkansas,
  132. Karenni Community of Austin, TX
  133. Karenni Community of Bowling Green, KY
  134. Karenni Community of Buffalo, NY
  135. Karenni Community of Chicago, IL
  136. Karenni Community of Colorado, CO
  137. Karenni Community of Connecticut, CT
  138. Karenni Community of Dallas, TX
  139. Karenni Community of Des Moines, IA
  140. Karenni Community of Florida, FL
  141. Karenni Community of Fort Wayne, IN
  142. Karenni Community of Fort Worth, TX
  143. Karenni Community of Georgia, GA
  144. Karenni Community of Grand Rapid, MI
  145. Karenni Community of Houston, TX
  146. Karenni Community of Idaho, ID
  147. Karenni Community of Indianapolis, IN
  148. Karenni Community of Lansing, MI
  149. Karenni Community of Lousiville, KY
  150. Karenni Community of Massachusetts, MA
  151. Karenni Community of Minnesota, MN
  152. Karenni Community of Missouri, MO
  153. Karenni Community of New Jersey, NJ
  154. Karenni Community of North Carolina, NC
  155. Karenni Community of Portland, OR
  156. Karenni Community of Rockford, IL
  157. Karenni Community of San Antonio, TX
  158. Karenni Community of Sioux Falls, SD
  159. Karenni Community of Utah, UT
  160. Karenni Community of Utica, NY
  161. Karenni Community of Washington, WA
  162. Karenni Community of Wisconsin, WI
  163. Karenni Federation of Australia
  164. Karenni National Women’s Organization
  165. Karenni Society of Canada
  166. Karenni Society of Omaha, NE
  167. Karenni Talkshow-KTS, USA
  168. Karenni Youth of Minnesota, MN
  169. Karenni-American Association
  170. Karenni-American Catholic Association
  171. Kayahlilaykloe, Austin, MN
  172. Kayahliphu Youth – KLY
  173. Kayaw Women Association
  174. Keng Tung Youth
  175. Kentucky Kachin Community
  176. KnA-Kay Phoe Du prgm
  177. Korea Karen Organization
  178. Korea Karen Youth Organization
  179. Kyaukpadaung Youth Network
  180. Kyaukse University Interim Administrative Council
  181. Kyaukse University Students’ Union
  182. LA Rohingya Association/America Rohingya Justice Network
  183. Let’s Help Each Other
  184. Los Angeles Myanmar Movement
  185. Louisiana Kachin Community
  186. Mandalay Regional Youth Association
  187. Mandalay Regional Youth Network
  188. Maramagri Youth Network
  189. Maryland Kachin Community
  190. MeBoun Foundation
  191. Metta Campaign Mandalay
  192. Michigan Kachin Community
  193. Milk Tea Alliance
  194. Minnesota Kachin Community
  195. My STORY photo project Association
  196. Myanmar Accountability Project (MAP)
  197. Myanmar Advocacy Coalition
  198. Myanmar Community Austria
  199. Myanmar Cultural Research Society (MCRS)
  200. Myanmar Family Community Ireland
  201. Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)
  202. Myanmar Student Association Ontario (MSAO)
  203. Nationalities Alliance of Burma USA
  204. Network for Human Rights Documentation Burma (ND-Burma)
  205. New York Kachin Community
  206. No Business With Genocide
  207. North Carolina Kachin Community
  208. Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica
  209. Olive Organization
  210. Omaha Kachin Community
  211. Oversea Karen Organization Japan
  212. Pa-O Women’s Union
  213. Pennsylvania Kachin Community
  214. Progressive Voice
  215. Rochester Karenni Community, NY
  216. Rohingya Action Ireland
  217. Sandhi Governance Institute
  218. Save and Care Organization for Ethnic Women at Border Areas
  219. SEA Junction
  220. Shan MATA
  221. Sisters2Sisters
  222. Sitt Nyein Pann Foundation
  223. South Carolina Kachin Community
  224. Southern Youth Development Organization
  225. Stefanus Alliance International
  226. Students for Free Burma
  227. Support the Democracy Movement in Burma
  228. Swedish Burma Committee
  229. Synergy – Social Harmony Organization
  230. Ta’ang Women’s Organization
  231. Ta’ang Legal Aid
  232. Tanintharyi MATA
  233. Taunggyi Youth Center
  234. Tennessee Kachin Community
  235. The Free Burma Campaign (South Africa)
  236. U.S. Campaign for Burma
  237. Union of Karenni State Youth
  238. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  239. United States Chin Coalition (USCC)
  240. Virginia Kachin Community
  241. Washington Kachin Community
  242. West Virginia Kachin Community
  243. Women Activists Myanmar
  244. Women Advocacy Coalition Myanmar (WAC-M)
  245. Women’s League of Burma
  246. Women’s Peace Network
  247. West Coast Burmese Coalition (WCBC):
  • BURSA at UCLA,
  • BURSA at USC,
  • BURSA at UCSB,
  • BAB at Berkeley, and
  • BSA at UCR