Two years since military coup: Restore the democratically elected government in Myanmar

Press Statement
Jan 2023

It has been two years since the military junta seized power in Myanmar through a violent coup d’état that not only denied the democratic aspirations of the people of Myanmar, but also put the lives of millions of civilians under threat. Since 1 February 2021, atrocities against defenders of democracy and innocent civilians continued unabated. Extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, tortures, burning of villages, and airstrikes have been carried out to crack down those who resist the junta’s autocratic rule.

“The scale and intensity of the attacks of the military junta against defenders of democracy in Myanmar, including trade unionists, are tantamount to crimes against humanity. Under the constant aggression of the military junta, peace and stability have been elusive for the people of Myanmar,” said Shoya Yoshida, General Secretary of the ITUC-Asia Pacific.

Shoya Yoshida added:

“Two years without fundamental rights and freedoms is far too long. A prolonged grasp for power by the military regime will perpetuate the suffering of the people in Myanmar and the instability of the country. Thus, we join the demand of the international trade union movement to immediately restore the democratically elected government in Myanmar. It is only through a legitimate, democratic government that peace and prosperity can be rebuilt in the country.”

The ITUC-Asia Pacific also supports the following calls of the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM): (i) recognise the National Unity Government (NUG) and reject the military junta’s credentials in all United Nations bodies, particularly in the International Labour Organization; (ii) allow the establishment of NUG offices and provide refuge to political dissidents; and (ii) sustain economic sanctions against the military junta and allow the provisioning of humanitarian assistance in the borders.

“On the second anniversary of the military coup, we also remember those who lost their lives in the fight for democracy. In their honour, we will continue to support and show our solidarity to the trade unions, workers, and people of Myanmar as they relentlessly struggle for a future where peace, prosperity and social justice can be enjoyed by all,” Shoya Yoshida said.

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