The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) - Asia Pacific, effectively representing 60 million workers in Asia and the Pacific, extends its deepest solidarity and sympathy to the people of Myanmar, particularly the members of the Confederation of Trade Unions, Myanmar (CTUM) and their families, following the devastating impact of Cyclone Mocha, which hit the country on 14 May 2023.
“It is very tragic that this natural disaster happened when the country is controlled by an illegitimate government, the State Administration Council (SAC),” said Shoya Yoshida, General Secretary of ITUC-Asia Pacific.
“Since the military coup in February 2021, the people of Myanmar have endured unimaginable violence, including killings, torture, airstrikes, and mass burning of villages, among other human rights violations. The catastrophic cyclone aggravated their already precarious conditions under the military rule. The restrictions imposed by the military regime have hindered the direct entry of the much-needed humanitarian assistance from the international community to aid the survivors.”
Until today, the international community, including the international trade union movement, are still calling for the restoration of democracy, the reinstatement of the civilian rule, an end to arbitrary detentions and violations of human rights, and the restoration of fundamental principles and rights at work, especially the exercise of freedom of association without the threat of violence, arrest, and detention.
“Without genuine democracy, bringing peace and security to all the citizens of Myanmar, regardless of race and ethnicity, is impossible. Without the people’s right to choose their own government, the political stability and economic development of the Republic cannot be realised. It is critical for the international community, especially the governments, to take actions that could significantly weaken the regime’s power and put its tyranny to end.”
Maung Maung, President of the CTUM, said, “The impacts of a natural disaster can be alleviated through humanitarian response. We appeal for any humanitarian support that could be given to the victims of Cyclone Mocha.”
“We must not forget that the atrocities of the military junta on its own people is a man-made disaster that also devastated country and divided the people. We urge the international community to work consistently to solve the Myanmar problem within the ASEAN. This recent disaster is a reminder that it is critically important to increase and sustain the external pressure against the military junta.”