The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) welcomes the historic announcement of a national unity government as the legitimate government of Myanmar.
Today, a committee of Myanmar’s elected parliamentarians, the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), who were prevented from taking their seats after the Myanmar military’s attempted coup on 1 February, made the historic announcement that a national unity government of Myanmar has been formed. It will serve as an interim governing body for the people of Myanmar as they continue to oppose the illegal terrorist military junta and work towards a federal democratic future.
Members of the national unity government include Aung San Suu Kyi as State Counsellor, U Win Myint as President, Duwa Lashi La as Vice-President, and Mahn Win Khine Than as Prime Minister.
The interim government was formed following wide consultation and through the collective effort of the CRPH, diverse political parties, ethnic nationalities consultative councils, the civil disobedience movement, general strike committees and leaders of ethnic armed organisations.
The national unity government will move forward on the basis of the new federal democratic charter. On 31 March, the CRPH announced that the military-drafted 2008 constitution had been abolished.
“This is an historic moment. As UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, I saw the stranglehold that the Tatmadaw had over the democratic movement with its 2008 Constitution. Last year I called for a national dialogue in Myanmar to bring the country together. That dialogue is beginning to happen now,” SAC-M founding member Yanghee Lee said. “This is an important step towards all the peoples of Myanmar one day being able to live peacefully, free from military oppression and within a federal democratic union under a government that places the best interests of its peoples at the forefront.”
“The coup that the military launched in February was illegal. Two and a half months later, it does not have effective control over the country. The Tatmadaw has no claim to be the legitimate government in law or in fact,” SAC-M founding member Chris Sidoti said. “The National Unity Government, on the other hand, has the support of the people through their elected representatives and representative organisations. It now constitutes the legitimate government of Myanmar. The Federal Democratic Charter provides the path forward for Myanmar.”
“The international community now has clarity on who represents the people of Myanmar in the international arena. The National Unity Government must be recognised for what it is, the Government of Myanmar,” SAC-M founding member Marzuki Darusman said.
“SAC-M commends the work of the CRPH, political parties, ethnic nationalities consultative councils, the Civil Disobedience Movement, general strike committees, and leaders of ethnic armed organisations, for having made this considerable achievement under the most difficult of circumstances.”
SAC-M now calls for the national unity government to move urgently and ratify or accede to the Rome Statute, so as to ensure that the military is held to account for its crimes under international law through the International Criminal Court.
Yanghee Lee is the former UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, who held the mandate from 2014 to 2020
Marzuki Darusman is the former chair of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFMM)
Chris Sidoti is a former member of the FFMM
In 2018, the FFMM called for the investigation and prosecution of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and his top military leaders for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
In 2019, the FFMM exposed the extent to which the Myanmar military uses its own businesses, foreign companies and arms deals to sustain its operations and called for immediate targeted sanctions and arms embargoes.