UN calls for restoration of democracy in Myanmar, end to violence

Release time:2021-05-01 Publisher:Lanka Voice

The UN Security Council on Friday again demanded the restoration of democracy in Myanmar and the release of all detainees including elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as it threw its weight behind calls by Southeast Asian nations for an immediate end to violence and talks to resolve the political crisis resulting from the generals’ February 1 coup.
The council’s press statement followed a briefing by the top UN envoy that the strong, united demand for democracy by the people of Myanmar who have been protesting since the military’s power grab has created “unexpected difficulties” for military leaders in consolidating power and risks bringing the administration of the nation to a standstill.
Christine Schraner Burgener, who is currently in Bangkok, told the 15-member council that her discussions in Southeast Asia had “compounded” her concern that the situation in Myanmar is deteriorating in all areas.
She pointed to a resurgence of fighting in ethnic areas, more poor people losing jobs, civil servants refusing to work to protest against the coup and a brewing crisis of families in and around the main city Yangon “pushed to the edge” of hunger, going into debt and trying to survive.
“The common aspiration for democracy has united the people of Myanmar across religious, ethnic and communal divides like never before,” Schraner Burgener said. “Such strong unity has created unexpected difficulties for the military in consolidating power and stabilising the coup.”
Security Council members “reiterated their deep concern at the situation in Myanmar following the declaration of the state of emergency imposed by the military on February 1 and reiterated their support for Myanmar’s democratic transition.”
The council also reiterated previous statements, which include strongly condemning the use of violence against peaceful protesters and the deaths of hundreds of civilians, calling for the restoration of democracy and release of detainees.
Schraner Burgener attended the April 24 meeting of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta, where the group called for an immediate end to violence, and dialogue to address the political crisis.
The UN envoy said she was able to hold talks with army chief Min Aung Hlaing on the sidelines of the event and again asked to be allowed to visit Myanmar.
They agreed “to keep details of the exchange discreet to allow for continued frank and open discussions”, she said, but she assured the council that she “amplified” the statements its 15 members had approved.
Schraner Burgener has repeatedly asked to travel to Myanmar – where the generals detained Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her elected government before seizing power three months ago – but the military has yet to give her its permission.
Pro-democracy protests have taken place in cities and towns across the country since the coup.
“The general administration of the state could risk coming to a standstill as the pro-democracy movement continues in spite of the ongoing use of lethal force, arbitrary arrests and torture as part of the military’s repression,” the envoy said, according to diplomats.

Hot topicMore>>