TOKYO (THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN / ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – The Myanmar junta, who took power in a coup, continues to make its rule an established fact.
Failure to intervene on the part of the international community amounts to tacit approval of the current situation. The United Nations must take the lead in increasing pressure on the junta.
During the April summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), a five-point consensus was reached on the country of Myanmar, which includes “an immediate end to the violence” and the start of “constructive dialogue between all parties” and the dispatch of an Asean -Special Envoy.
However, none of the five points was achieved.
The junta has unilaterally withheld the implementation of the agreement, saying that it would do so after stability was restored in Myanmar. It is clear that the junta is aiming to nullify the agreement.
Asean’s involvement was intended to urge the military to exercise restraint, but was used by the junta to buy time to consolidate their government.
The junta has continued to detain Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of the National League for Democracy who led the government. An organization founded by pro-democratic personalities was banned.
The junta appears to want to officially consolidate its rule by holding parliamentary elections after ousting popular Suu Kyi and the NLD, which won a landslide in parliamentary elections last November, from politics. This only underscores the lack of legitimacy and popular support for the coup.
Frequent protests in urban areas have been reduced to avoid casualties from military fire. As a sign of disobedience to the junta, people refused to go to work, but after their livelihoods began to suffer, some had no choice but to return to work. Schools have also started teaching again.
People have not necessarily accepted the current situation, although their everyday lives seem to have returned to normal. In addition to a supply shortage, Myanmar has recently seen a rapid increase in novel coronavirus infections with variants.
Neither his Covid-19 vaccination program nor the medical system caught up with the surge in infections. This is a serious humanitarian crisis.
In rural and remote areas, ethnic armed groups and civilians in possession of weapons have exchanged fires with the military, fueling fears that escalating unrest could lead to full-blown civil war. Up to 150,000 people are said to have been displaced as a result of the violence.
The UN Security Council, which plays a key role in ensuring world peace and security, cannot remain a silent observer. A UN envoy and international organizations must visit the country and take action to expand aid and intervention.
Resistance from permanent UN Security Council members China and Russia, who vetoed them, has hampered the implementation of measures that will increase pressure on Myanmar.
Beijing and Moscow should not further undermine the functions of the United Nations Security Council. Japan should also speak to the United Nations.
At a recent summit, the Group of Seven reaffirmed their unity on the Myanmar issue. Unlike Western countries, Japan did not impose any sanctions on the junta. Shouldn’t Japan consider suspending all official development aid to Myanmar?
- The Yomiuri Shimbun is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media organizations.