Myanmar: 44 Global Orgs Urge G20 Countries to Pay Urgent Attention to Pressing Rights Issues

'We beseech G20 member countries and international organizations to cut ties with the Myanmar military and instead acknowledge and collaborate with the National Unity Government.'

New Delhi: A group of 44 organisations from around the world have urged the G20 countries – heads of state and governments of which are meeting in New Delhi today and tomorrow – to pay their focused attention to the crisis unfolding in Myanmar.

“The escalating atrocities perpetrated by the military junta demand immediate, united intervention. As representatives of the world’s
foremost economies, you possess the influence and the moral duty to address this pressing issue,” the groups wrote in their open letter dated September 9.

The groups include the #MilkTeaAlliance Friends of Myanmar, the Action Committee for Democracy Development (a coalition of 14 grassroots networks), the Ah Nah Podcast: Conversations with Myanmar, the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, and India For Myanmar. Five of the groups have chosen to not disclose their names.

The letter highlights the deaths and detentions perpetrated by the military junta:

“The situation in Myanmar is deeply distressing and deeply alarming. Over the past 30 months, we have borne witness to more than 4,000 lives tragically lost, over 24,000 individuals unjustly detained, and the issuance of 145 death sentences – an unforgivable affront to the Myanmar people. These are the figures corroborated by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), though we must acknowledge the grim likelihood that the actual toll is much higher.”

The letter notes the Myanmar military’s relentless targeting of civilians through more than 1,400 airstrikes, which have led to the displacement of millions. It says that the UN’s estimate of 1.7 million displaced is “conservative” and the the figure is expected to rise to 2.7 million by the end of 2023.

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“Adding to the country’s misery, the junta’s military is said to have burned down around 75,000 homes and put more than 17 million people in need of humanitarian aid,” the letter says.

It implores the member countries of the G20 to take the following action. The next four points are directly quoted from the letter.

1. Acknowledgment of the Global Implications: We urgently call upon G20 member states to acknowledge that the crisis in Myanmar extends beyond its borders. The plight of more than 50 million Myanmar people and the regional security threats must not be relegated to a purely domestic matter. Economic considerations must not supersede the imperative to end the reign of terror imposed by the Myanmar military.

2. Accountability for Enablers: The international community bears a solemn duty to take action against governments and non-governmental organisations that provide any form of support to the Myanmar military. Those aiding and abetting atrocities by selling weapons, technology, fuel, and diplomatic legitimisation must be held accountable.

3. Exclusion of Military-Linked Entities: We beseech G20 member countries and international organisations to cut ties with the Myanmar military and instead acknowledge and collaborate with the National Unity Government. The legitimacy of the chosen representatives of the Myanmar people must be upheld.

4. Swift Measures to Halt Crimes: Finally, we implore the G20 to work collaboratively to take prompt, concrete, and effective actions to halt the heinous crimes perpetrated by the Myanmar military. The lives and well-being of more than 50 million people are hanging in the balance, and every day of inaction exacts a devastating toll.

The Wire had reported in August that in what is a sign of India’s increasing engagement with the Myanmar junta, the Myanmar minister for immigration and population, U Myint Kyaing, sanctioned by the US, EU and other countries, paid a quiet visit to Delhi and Bengaluru in July to acquaint himself with the Aadhaar Unique Identity system.

In the M20 Media Freedom Summit held online in Delhi on September 6, Myanmar Now editor Swe Win had also similarly highlighted how important it is for global powers to censure Myanmar’s current junta rulers. “The junta is doing all sorts of things to misinform what is going on in our country. So, I really want to request you to be mindful of this situation as well,” he had said.

The signatories noted that the G20 summit is “supposed to offer leadership in the face of pressing challenges” and thus urged that it is of utmost importance that the Myanmar tragedy be confronted with the “sense of urgency, compassion, and unwavering commitment to justice,” that it deserves.

The full list of organisations who have signed this letter are as follows:

1. #MilkTeaAlliance Friends of Myanmar
2. Action Committee for Democracy Development (coalition of 14 grassroots networks)
3. Ah Nah Podcast – Conversations with Myanmar
4. ALTSEAN-Burma
5. ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)
6. Asia Democracy Network
7. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
8. Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)
9. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
10. Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
11. Be A Light In The Darkness
12. Burma Action Ireland
13. Burma Affairs and Conflicts Study (BACS)
14. Burma Campaign UK
15. CRPH Funding Ireland
16. CRPH/NUG Support Group – India
17. Educational Initiatives Prague
18. Equality Myanmar
19. Freedom and Labor Action Group
20. Future Light Center
21. General Strike Committee of Nationalities
22. Generation Wave
23. Human Rights Foundation of Monland
24. Info Birmanie
25. Initiatives for International Dialogue
26. India For Myanmar
27. Karen Human Rights Group
28. National Alliance – Bangkok
29. New Power Generation
30. No Boundary Supporting Group “NBSG”
31. NUG and CRPH Supporters Ireland
32. Progressive Voice
33. Rohingya Action Ireland
34. Swedish Burma Committee
35. Ta’ang Women’s Organization (TWO)
36. U.S. Campaign for Burma
37. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
38. White Coat Society Yangon
39. Yangon Medical Network
and five undisclosed organisations.