#MilkTeaAlliance Friends of Myanmar Statement: On 2nd Commemoration of Peoples' Resistance against the Military's attempted Coup in Myanmar: ASEAN, UN urged to charge Myanmar junta accountable for crimes against humanity
Today, on the 2nd year commemoration of the historic peoples' resistance against the Myanmar military's attempted coup, we, the undersigned members, friends and civil society network of #MilkTeaAlliance Friends of Myanmar reaffirm our commitment and extend our heartfelt solidarity to the peoples of Myanmar in their continuing quest for genuine democracy, peace and social justice.
Today we want to highlight the many crimes & injustices that have been committed against the people of Myanmar. To amplify the voices of our friends in calling for more action to be taken against the Junta & show that we have not forgotten them.
Still etched in our memories was how the junta responded with brutality in an effort to suppress the uprising—the result was too much for the world to fathom as the savagery happened amid a global health pandemic. The junta replicated what it had done in 1988 and comfortably used violent military crackdowns against peaceful demonstrators, which resulted in killings, arrests, and detention of civilians, elected officials and activists.
Until today, heightened restrictions on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are being implemented. With utter disregard for the rights or well-being of the people of Myanmar or the opinion of the international community, the military junta of Myanmar has literally turned the whole country into a garrison state. We recently released a statement amplifying the calls of our friends and allies to call on the international community to reject the Junta’s proposed Sham elections.1
720 days crime against humanity
In the past two years, 720 days counting, the people in Myanmar, women, children, and ethnic minorities, including the Rohingyas, have not been put up seriously into account for their rights, dignity and human security incessantly violated with impunity. Countless active armed clashes, indiscriminate shelling, arson, and airstrikes keep happening on the ground –junta’s airstrikes on a school in Sagaing Region killed 11 children.2 That is, in this view, the ruling power of the junta is no less than a chain of malignant violations that is too much for one life.
Workers, monks, Youth, students who joined Civil Disobedience Movements, human rights defenders, strike committees are among the jailed detainees. Uncounted bombs parcel on activists’ houses to junta jets bomb church killing a child, mother, and two pastors also just happened3. Following June 2022, the regime’s execution of four democracy activists and their tactics of using politics of fear by putting seven Dagon University on death row inmates in July. With these ill circumstances, ASEAN Foreign Ministers still decided to stick to the failing five-point consensus despite the regime’s unwillingness to implement it and doing the contrary.
An immense number of attacks on civilians worldwide
Since the coup, a total of (13,689) people are currently under detention (2,174) of whom are serving sentences. There are a total of (101) post-coup death row prisoners as of January 27, 2023. (121) people have been sentenced in absentia, of whom (42) have been sentenced to death.4 In 2022, Myanmar had the highest number of attacks on civilians worldwide, the highest incidence of looting and property destruction and 2nd the highest number of battles and reported deaths (Russian invasion of Ukraine being the highest in that category).5
There were an estimated 1,473,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) within Myanmar during the reporting period, including 1,143,000 people who have been newly displaced since 1 February 2021.6 UNOCHA projected that 17.6 million people (34% of the population) will need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2023, up from 14.4 million in 2022 and 1 million in 2021. It said the rate of new displacement was expected to continue at similar or higher levels in 2023, and projected a figure of 2.7 million IDPs (5.25% of the population) by the end of next year.7
Junta’s War Machine: Blood Money and Gender-Based Violence
MAL and his cronies are involved in drug trafficking8 money laundering, and transnational organized crime. Personal wealth and funding Myanmar military cartel; from sniper and rifles to surveillance systems.9 Oil companies, Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), are undeniably the core engine of funding the war, fueling the Junta ruling power. Recorded nineteen international banks each investing over US$ 1 billion in shares of companies with ties to the Myanmar military junta.10
At the same time, rape, sexual and gender-based violence are being used as a weapon of war against the peoples of Myanmar, especially ethnic communities: Bodies of two ethnic Chin women from Magway region’s Ngape township, 14-year-old Mai Hnoun Par Hla and 21-year-old Mai Shwesin Ye found.11 According to the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), at least 308 women and girls have been killed by junta forces since the coup in February last year; junta personnel raped women or girls before killing them.12 It keeps happening, just in the new year of 2023, during a six-day raid in Ah Lel Sho village in northern Myanmar’s Sagaing Region by Junta soldiers killed nine people, including women and children.13
In this impetus two years of the Military Coup, we #MilkTeaAlliance Friends of Myanmar, the youth who
believed in the Spring Revolution, echo the call from our allies in Myanmar, urging:
Reject Sham Election based on an illegal staging coup. There will be no free and fair elections based on brutal violence against humanity. Sham elections are faux democracy, far-fetched from shaping inclusive federal democracy under a new constitution as the people of Myanmar are committing to.
UN Security Council to implement its resolution on Myanmar immediately to investigate human rights violations.
ASEAN’s inaction on Myanmar contributes to the worsening political crisis. The faux neutrality of many needs to stop, as in many cases it just provides the Junta with a veneer of legitimacy. ASEAN starts to declare illegitimate of the junta, and recognize National Unity Government (NUG). It is clear that the situation is having significant external impacts on the region so the position of non interference in “internal affairs” can be dropped. Engage and work with NUG, the NUCC, EROs, CSOs, and the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on to build a more effective route forward that supports the people of Myanmar.
ASEAN under the Indonesian Chairship, as a regional bloc, and as an individual state, to move beyond the ‘false promise’ of the so-called failed Five-Point Consensus. Implement the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security and investigate reports of the use of rape, sexual and gender-based violence as a ‘Weapon of War’ in Myanmar especially against women and girls in ethnic communities
Humanitarian assistance of ASEAN, AHA Center and also donors, UN and the member states to immediately dismissed working together with the Junta side and chose local humanitarian actors or organizations directly to distribute the aid to the communities Taking accountability for its aid, particularly in Sagaing and Magway as junta had cut mobile data services14 across that affecting the distribution of basic food.15
World leaders and diplomats must put Myanmar's crisis as the world’s most pressing humanitarian catastrophe that needs to be handled. Otherwise, it will serve as an example for countries in this region and worldwide that an illegal military coup by an illegal regime is possible, legal, and permissible. Improve the foreign communication strategies and political roadmap of ASEAN Leaders on upholding human rights, women’s rights, and minorities’ rights in this major Myanmar Crisis. Stop and thoroughly cut every effort on all forms of financial and weapons support for the junta military. Sanction oil company, Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) which is the largest single source of foreign income for the operating Junta’s killing machine.
To our friends & allies in the resistance
We recognize that the situation on the ground is incredibly hard and that the challenges faced are still significant. The toll the resistance is taking physically, and emotionally on our friends is obvious, but also their determination to succeed and create a better, fairer, more inclusive future remains undiminished. We will continue to support you in every way that we can. We will raise up your cries for justice, and your calls for action, we will share your campaigns and advocate governments alongside the diaspora, and we will continue to provide material resources and emotional support as best we can. We know it is not enough but we hope it is something that aids you in your struggle.
We build our alliances and friendships on shared suffering and shared objectives. We will transcend the suffering and work together in solidarity. When we are beaten down, we help each other to get back on our feet and stand in solidarity. Your cause is our cause & we believe that you will win!
The Milk Tea Alliance - Friends of Myanmar, came into being from a shared desire among movement leaders, organizers, and activists not only for democracy but also for solidarity, inclusion and communal care.
We, the #MilkTeaAlliance Friends of Myanmar group, along with the undersigned, stand with the people of Myanmar against the Junta and will continue to do what we can to support the people of Myanmar in their struggle.
Yan Paing Oo
April Kyu Kyu
Johnson, Ching Yin Yeung
Salai Terah Thantluang
Ahmad Faris Darmawan
Nai Aue Mon
Corazon Valdez Fabros
Moe Hnin Wai Oo
Lwin Ming Aung
Maung Thin Shew
Airil Nur Abadiansyah
Virdian Aurellio Hartono
Thet Swe Win
Agus Hasan Hidayat
Cornelius Damar Hanung
Milk Tea Alliance – Friends of Myanmar
Milk Tea Alliance – Friends of Thailand
Milk Tea Alliance Indonesia (IDMILKTEA)
Justice for Myanmar
Japan Myanmar Help Network ( comprising of over 40 youth groups in Japan )
Global Myanmar Spring Revolution - Japan
Global Myanmar Spring Revolution
Cambodian Environmental & Human rights Activist
Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet)
Citizens of Cambodian
Asia Democracy Network
Network for Human Rights Documentation-Burma (ND-Burma)
Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) Indonesia / Alliance of Independence Journalist
Blood Money Campaign Myanmar
Initiatives for International Dialogue
India for Myanmar
Chin Human Rights Organization
Okinawa Myanmar Association
Mother Nature Cambodia
We For All
Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa- SIHA
Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms
Human Rights Foundation of Monland
Hapus Hukuman Mati
Human Rights Watch
Forward Channel ( Rangoon )
် ိ-အ့ တွက်အရမ်းစိတဝ
ိ ်ေဆွတိ-ခပ့ ်သိမ်း၊ေဘးရနေN ်
Pြပည်ဝ့ နကဲ့ ျနး
Never Give Up
Friends Against Dictatorship (FAD)
Friends Against Dictatorship (FAD)
BEM Kema Unpad 2022
Young Progressives Hub
Synergy- Social Harmony Organization
Sophia University, Tokyo
Democratic Youth Council - DYC
ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
Asia Citizen Future Organization
ASEAN Youth Forum Secretariat
Kachin Human Rights Watch -KHRW
1 #MilkTeaAlliance Friends of Myanmar Statement on the Proposed Sham Election in Myanmar (25th January 2023)
2 Irrawady (19 September 2022) Eleven Children Killed, Many Injured as Myanmar Junta Helicopter, Troops Attack Monastery
3 Irrawady (13 January 2023) Myanmar Junta Jets Bomb Church, Killing Child, Mother, and 2 Pastors
4 The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners Burma (27 January 2023) Daily Briefing in Relation to the Military Coup
5 #MilkTeaAlliance Friends of Myanmar Statement on the Proposed Sham Election in Myanmar
6 UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific (RBAP) Myanmar Emergency Update as of 5 Dec 2022
7 ALTSEAN Burma (9 January 2023) Burma coup watch for the month of december 2022
8 Justice for Myanmar (11 January 2023) Assets of Min Aung Hlaing’s children caught in Thai drug raid
9 Justice for Myanmar (April 26 2022) Star Sapphire Companies Funneling Arms and Money to Military
10 Justice for Myanmar (28 July 2021) Banks Investing in the Military Cartel
11 Radio Free Asia (10 November 2022) Bodies of two ethnic Chin women discovered in Myanmar’s Magway region
12 Irrawady (28 November 2022) Myanmar junta troops have killed 308 women and girls, 12 were raped first: NUCC
13 Radio Free Asia (17 January 2023) “My sons cried and begged,” mother of three men killed by junta troops in Myanmar
14 Meanwhile Israel’s Cognyte Software won a tender to sell the intercept spyware to Myanmar shortly before the February 2021 coup that allows governments to listen to telephone calls, and read text messages and emails. Radio Free Asia (23 January 2023) Reported spyware deal implicates Israeli firm in Myanmar junta’s crimes, critics say
15 Myanmar Now (31 May 2022) Locals fear major military assault as junta further cuts off telecommunications access in central Myanmar