Myanmar politicians and civil activists launched the “National Unification Government” on Friday, focusing on ousted national leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected lawmakers. last November, to unify domestic and international support to end the military’s bloody rule.
The parallel government launch of the Representative Committee Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), which includes lawmakers toppled by a military coup in February, takes place as anti-coup protesters organize “Silent strike” empties streets of major cities on the last day of the Burmese New Year’s holiday.
The nearly 11-week-old army ousted Aung San Suu Kyi and her elected government on February 1 attacked protesters and civilians in cities in the Sagaing and Mandalay regions, where resistance was found. resistance to military rule was going strong, killing at least 8 people and leaving. missing dozens.
The parallel government launched on Friday attracted the participation of National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmakers who won seats in the 2020 election that the military overturned, arguing. due to unsupported allegations of electoral fraud, with wide representation of the country’s major ethnic groups, most of them have their own military.
CRPH – a name derived from Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the Burmese term for the lower house – is outlawed by the military regime, but favored in Myanmar and abroad. The group is believed to operate near Myanmar’s border with India and Thailand.
“Everyone should wholeheartedly welcome the new government to launch. We will connect with the world to work together, ”said Min Ko Naing, founder of the 88th Generation Student Group of activists who fought against a military dictatorship more than 30 years ago at the site. then called Burma.
“We are going through a very difficult time because we are trying to uproot the military regime this time. This is very tiring and requires a lot of sacrifice, ”said the 58-year-old activist.
Min Ko Naing, who called the coup call a “violent and arrogant move”, acting as an adviser to the unity government, will keep State Commissioner Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint in the positions they had held before February 1.
CRPH chose Mahn Win Khaing Than, an ethnic Karen and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, as prime minister of the country, to oversee 11 ministries, while attorney Duwa Lashi La, chairman of the National Advisory Council Kachin , was appointed vice president, the group said in a statement
In a live broadcast announcing the new government, Lwin Ko Ko Latt, the new minister for domestic and immigration issues, vowed to work with Myanmar’s ethnic armed groups as well as organizations. international.
“We are fighting on the basis of domestic and international legality,” he said.
“We can clearly see the legitimacy of our country to the extent that the people are supporting us. As for international legitimacy, the fact that no government has so far recognized the terrorist military group shows that they are neither de facto nor a government ”, says Lwin Ko Ko Latt, founder French NLD added.
‘Discipline, morality and morality’
Yee Mon, Defense Minister in parallel government, said CRPH aims to establish a Professional People’s Defense Force to counter the military regime.
“Basically, it must protect the people. In addition, it must protect the federal democratic coalition we are trying to form. New defensive forces will be built on these principles, ”he said on Friday.
Yee Mon, a legislator and poet of the NLD, has called for a new “disciplined, ethical, and moral” defense force that “could replace the current army that is persecuting the people.”
“At some point, this People’s Self-Defense Force will be part of the larger Federal Army,” he added.
CRPH said it plans to attract ethnic-based armies along Myanmar’s multiethnic border with Bangladesh, China, India and Thailand, who have fought for decades with the national army. Burmese are predominantly Burmese, making up two-thirds of Myanmar’s 54 million people.
Six of the 11 federal ministers are ethnic Kachins, Karen or Chin, while six deputy ministers are from the Kachin, Karen, Mon, Kayan, Karenni and Ta’ang ethnic groups, according to online news agency Irrawaddy. believe.
“All will play an extremely important role in the great cause of freeing our country from the calamity of this murderous military government, and all will have equal rights as citizens of Myanmar,” Dr. Sa Sa, an ethnic Chin, serves as and CRPH’s international special envoy and is appointed minister of international cooperation and spokesperson for the solidarity government.
“With the right help from the rest of the world, Burma has every opportunity to not only become a federal democracy but also a peaceful, prosperous and multicultural society”, History Thant Myint-U wrote on Twitter. “(Country) is at a historical stage and absolutely cannot go back.”
Two senior US diplomats – Atul Keshap, the chief deputy for East Asia and Pacific affairs, and Scott Busby, the assistant secretary of state for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor – tweeted that they and CRPH “agreed on the importance of restoring Burma the path to democracy. The United States strongly supports the Burmese people, who reject military rule and aspire to peace. ”
At least eight people were killed and at least 20 went missing across the country on Friday as anti-coup protesters held a “Silent Strike” on the fourth and final day of the water festival. Thingyan New Year traditions.
In the town of Kani, in the Sagaing region, at least 6 residents were killed last night and more than 20 others went missing, after a convoy of military vehicles attacked residents on security duties near the entrance to the town. , the villagers said.
“The army previously intercepted a car, hit the driver and his friends, and then took them away,” a local resident told RFA.
“The soldiers arrived in 12 military vehicles,” he said. A clash ensued with angry residents who fought back with domestically produced “tumee” rifles, but of course they won.
“They also had to use heavy weapons because we heard a loud bang,” the witness added.
The Association for Supporting Political Prisoners, a Myanmar-based human rights group based in Thailand, said as of Thursday 728 people have been confirmed dead and 3,141 are in the custody of the military regime, 832 Another was charged but evaded arrest.
CDM police stay on course
In Sagaing’s Kalay, where fighting has been fierce since last week, a force of about 30 police and soldiers searched their homes early Friday morning before evacuating with three trucks.
“They searched house by house on the streets near the university campus. They checked household lists, looked for satellite dishes and asked if there were any weapons at home, ”said a local resident, who declined to be named.
In the town of Myingyan in central Mandalay, two people were killed when police and soldiers fired about 200 rounds at six residential areas overnight, one resident said.
“The bodies of two men look terrible. They were disfigured, and it looked like they were dragged along the way, ”the witness added.
The CRPH both provided support and attracted support from the nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) of civil servants, transport workers, bankers, health professionals and others who had stopped working to stop work. Becomes the military’s effort to run the country.
Many CDM participants were arrested, threatened to terminate their contracts and wanted by the authorities to return to work. Many have fled to areas controlled by armed ethnic groups to avoid arrest.
In the eastern state of Kayah, near the Thai border, some of the more than 200 police officers, including a captain, have left positions to join the CDM since Feb. 10 telling RFA on Friday that they will resist pressure to return to her unit.
“We want to serve under a democratic government. We join the CDM movement because we cannot accept the military dictatorship,” said a policeman from the Central Prusoe Police Department.
Another policeman from the Loikaw County Sheriff’s Office currently in hiding told RFA he would do his best despite the difficulties.
“We are not receiving our salary, but the locals are feeding us. Despite financial difficulties, we do not have to worry about food, ”said the official.
“We will fight the military and restore democracy.”
Reported by Soe San Aung and RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translation by Khin Maung Nyane and Ye Kaung Myint Maung. Written in English by Paul Eckert.