SAC-M says Myanmar military is engaging in terrorism and calls for global ‘three cuts’ strategy

There must be no recognition whatsoever of the Myanmar military as a legitimate government of Myanmar

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Myanmar military - Photograph: Wikipedia

The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) condemns the Myanmar military as an organisation engaging in terrorism, marking its Armed Forces Day with a barbaric massacre, and calls for a global “three cuts” strategy against the military.  

Nearly two months after the attempted coup, as the Myanmar military’s Commander-in-Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, made claims that “the army seeks to join hands with the entire nation,” peaceful protesters and other civilians in towns up and down the country were being slain in the streets and in their homes by his security forces. 

“These are barbaric criminal acts, calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public with the purpose of terrorising the entire population,” Marzuki Darusman said.

“The actions of the Myanmar military are the actions of a terrorist group, under any United Nations definition of the term.” 

More than 100 people, including at least seven children, were killed on Saturday. Min Aung Hlaing’s soldiers and police are reported to have seized bodies of people they murdered, dragging them away from their families, and even setting fire to the dead.

“These are the same barbaric things the Tatmadaw did to the Rohingya in 2016 and 2017,” Yanghee Lee said. 

For nearly two months, murder, beatings, torture, detentions, looting, destruction of property, media blackouts, internet shutdowns and military propaganda have all been waged against the population.

But in the face of terror the people of Myanmar have remained strong and united in their peaceful resistance through the non-violent civil disobedience movement (CDM) and general strikes. 

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 “It is time for the international community to follow the lead of the Myanmar people with strong and united global action,” Chris Sidoti said.

“Myanmar people are calling for international action under the responsibility to protect. In response, we want to see three cuts imposed on the Myanmar military: cut the weapons, cut the cash, cut the impunity.” 

SAC-M is calling on the UN Security Council to lead a global three cuts strategy by:

  • imposing a comprehensive arms embargo on Myanmar with a mechanism to monitor and enforce it
  • imposing targeted financial sanctions against senior military officials and all military-owned companies, especially the Myanma Economic Holdings Ltd (MEHL), the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) and their subsidiaries
  • referring the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court

Individual states can support the global three cuts strategy by imposing their own arms embargos and targeted financial sanctions against senior military officials and military-owned companies, as the US and the UK have done.

Businesses should suspend all revenue payments to the illegal junta and support the anti-coup resistance by suspending all operations in Myanmar, apart from essential humanitarian operations. 

The global three cuts strategy must go hand in hand with a strong and united effort from donors to support the anti-coup resistance by ensuring urgently needed humanitarian assistance reaches urban as well as ethnic areas where members of the democracy movement are seeking refuge from the military.

Assistance should be directed through existing local structures and networks already experienced in responding to the humanitarian crises caused by the Myanmar military’s decades of violations against ethnic people. 

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SAC-M continues to call for an immediate visit by an international delegation to Myanmar to halt the military’s bloodshed and engage all parties in dialogue. The delegation should include senior representatives of Asean, at presidential or prime ministerial level, or at least, foreign ministerial level. Saturday’s massacre may warrant a delegation led by the UN Secretary-General. 

At the same time as security forces were targeting children, shooting them in their parents’ arms, a shameless military parade was held on Saturday in Nay Pyi Taw and was attended by diplomats from eight countries: Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. 

SAC-M emphasises that there must be no recognition whatsoever of the Myanmar military as a legitimate government of Myanmar. The military is nothing more than an armed terrorist group, representing the interests of a small elite, that has attempted to seize power over the country by force and forge its rule in blood. – SAC-M  

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