(1) The Institute for Strategy and Policy – Myanmar (ISP-Myanmar) clearly expressed its protest against the military coup on February 1, 2021. In our public statement on February 5, we urged the junta to find a peaceful solution by means of political dialogue with key stakeholders in order to resolve all crises caused by the coup. We also urged the junta to seriously consider the collective hopes of the people – including the country’s young generation – to advance toward the establishment of a federal democratic union, and to restore the dignity of the country in the international community.
(2) However, instead of pursuing political dialogue aimed to resolve the situation, the junta amended and suspended laws that have severely curtailed basic human rights as well as the political and civil liberties of citizens. With these repressive measures in place and allowing for impunity, the junta appears to be moving toward a crackdown against the peaceful anti-coup demonstrations and in particular targeting the civil servants who have joined the civil disobedience movement (CDM) by refusing to work. The sporadic crackdowns and night raids taking place in many cities show that the security forces do not follow a code of proper conduct. Their actions have resulted in needless casualties – including the death of a young woman protester – as well as the arrest of over 420 people as of February 15th.
(3) ISP-Myanmar respectfully appeals to the revered Buddhist Sangha Sayadaws and other religious leaders to offer sermons to the coup leaders and conduct compassionate mediation in order to avoid violent crackdowns and further civilian bloodshed. (4) ISP-Myanmar respectfully requests that representatives of the international community maintain ongoing engagement with Myanmar including Ms. Christine Schraner Burgener, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar, as well as the Chinese Special Envoy on Myanmar, the Japanese Special Envoy on Myanmar and the ASEAN Secretariat. We urge them to coordinate and step up engagement with Myanmar to address the country’s crisis. We request special envoys to make visits to Myanmar to meet the junta leaders and other stakeholders in order to mediate and meet the people’s demands(5) ISP-Myanmar is a local Myanmar think-tank established in 2016. The institute is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental research group that promotes democratic leadership and works to strengthen civic participation.