Democratic forces gaining ground against junta, says Myanmar envoy at UN in significant claim

Although Myanmar is now effectively ruled by the military known as the Tatmadaw,  the UN recognises only the representative of the overthrown democratically-elected government.

Arul Louis Feb 06, 2024
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Myanmar’s Permanent Representative Kyaw Moe Tun

The democratic forces are gaining ground and the military junta is “losing”, Myanmar’s Permanent Representative Kyaw Moe Tun, who represents the democratically-elected government overthrown in a coup three years ago, has said while appealing for effective UN Security Council action against the dictatorship.

“We the people of Myanmar are unified in opposition to the military dictatorship. And if we wish to live in a free, peaceful, inclusive, just and democratic society”, he told reporters on Monday before a closed Council meeting on the situation in that nation.

“Democratic Forces are gaining ground and the military junta is losing every day”, he said.

“But we need help from the international community, coordinated concrete actions, both from the Security Council and individual member states”, he added. 

Monday marked the third anniversary of the military coup that overthrew the civilian government of President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who are in detention along with scores of leaders.

Although Myanmar is now effectively ruled by the military known as the Tatmadaw,  the UN recognises only the representative of the overthrown democratically-elected government. 

Kyaw Moe Tun continues to speak for Myanmar at the General Assembly, the Council and other UN bodies as the General Assembly’s accreditation committee has refused to recognise the junta.

He said that the “significant success of Operation 1027” and other actions by the allied forces have “revealed that the military is not too big to fail after all”. 

Operation 1027 was launched on October 27 last year by a rebel group, the Three Brotherhood Alliance uniting the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Arakan Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, has made headway against the Tatmadaw forces overrunning over 30 towns and several military command centres and outposts.

Kyaw Moe Tun warned that the military coup has a “huge impact on the region and beyond” and said that “it is high time” the Council enforced its December 2022 resolution demanding the military uphold democracy.

He asserted that under the military, organised crimes like human trafficking, drug trade and online scams were flourishing in Myanmar.

The polarisation of the Council prevents action against the Tatmadaw, which has the support of veto-wielding China and Russia.

Nine members of the Council led by Britain, demanded “an immediate end to all forms of violence and we urge restraint and de-escalation of tensions” by the junta.

“We continue to urge the Myanmar military to immediately release all arbitrarily detained prisoners”, they said in a joint statement.

“We strongly condemn the ongoing violence harming civilians, including the military’s continued use of indiscriminate air strikes”, they said.

Ecuador, France, Japan, Malta, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United States joined Britain in issuing the statement that also called for creating conditions for the safe return of the Rohingya, about a million of whom have fled the country and have taken shelter mostly in Bangladesh.

Myanmar shares a border with Bangladesh and India and instability in the Southeast Asian nation has security, political and social implications on eastern South Asia. 

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