BANGKOK – A minister in Myanmar’s shadow government says the United Nations has an “obligation” to accept what the people want before the th General Assembly begins in New York on Tuesday.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since a military coup in February, during which the military ousted a democratically elected government and followed through an ongoing violent crackdown on opposition protesters.
The annual session, which ends on September 30, will see a nine-member certification committee discuss who will take the UN seat, including a member of the military junta or a representative of the former government.
The Minister for International Cooperation of the National Government of Myanmar (NUG) Dr. Sasa, the shadow government formed in the wake of the coup, which includes ousted legislators and leaders of ethnic minorities, said the people had spoken out.
“The origin of legitimacy is really in the will of the people of Myanmar. The will of the people of Myanmar was expressed in the elections, which were free and fair. The responsibility of the United Nations is to uphold the will of the people of Myanmar. That is the obligation.
Sosa, who uses a name, told VOA from an undisclosed location, “The UN should look at real issues, not just politics.
“With or without UN recognition, we know what we have to do. That is the end of the reign of terror under this military junta.
The National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory in Myanmar’s November elections. But the armed forces have made vague claims of electoral fraud since the coup earlier this year. A mass uprising, led by the civil disobedience movement, opposed the coup and thousands of people took to the streets in protest.
But thousands of people have been killed and detained, according to the Assistant Association for Political Prisoners, an organization that monitors Myanmar. The military opposes the figures, saying the death toll is low.
In July, the United Nations warned that civil war could break out, but Sasa said the current situation should not be defined in this way.
UN officials say Myanmar is growing frustrated at the risk of civil war
The UN chief says what began as a military coup in Myanmar has quickly turned into an attack on civilians.
“From the outside, people will see it as a civil war. It’s not actually a civil war. It is the struggle for freedom and democracy, and oppression, and the destruction of democracy under military dictatorship. ”
‘We’re drawing the line’
But just last week the NUG declared a “defensive war” against the Myanmar army after months of fighting across the country. Political analysts argued that the announcement was a call for arms.
Myanmar’s shadow government has declared a ‘defensive war’
After NUG acting president Dua Lashi La called for a nationwide uprising, the government in Yangon reportedly increased its military presence.
Sasa explained the decision.
“We want to maintain law and order, to protect citizens as much as possible, but [at] At the end of the day, another aspect is warplanes. The people of Myanmar are facing military warplanes, heavy artillery, heavy weapons. And the question is, how can we disable those weapons?
“We are drawing the line. Enough is enough. We cannot prolong this reign of terror, ”Sasa said.
Myanmar’s political instability has exacerbated the country’s problems as it battles the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Because many protest leaders work in the medical sector, several are targeted by the armed forces. Moreover, people are refusing to be vaccinated under the military.
Myanmar’s covid vaccination problem is under threat to the health system
Amid growing political tensions, the country is still battling the third wave of Covid-1 of
Originally a medical doctor from a remote village in China, Sasa has become a popular new face in politics and was supposed to take a top job in government before the coup.
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has spent many years under military rule and endured years of ethnic hostility. Sasa said she has faced many problems growing up in the country, including the loss of childhood friends and family members.
“The suffering I have seen in my life is something I can’t begin to describe. It’s hard to see this kind of suffering – there is no hospital, no school, no college. To go to the hospital or college … It takes seven days to walk through the jungle, “He said.
But he was able to get an education first in India and then in Armenia, where he went to medical school. She has also worked as a schoolteacher, and most recently worked with humanitarians and health workers in rural Myanmar. But when the opportunity to go into politics comes, it becomes difficult to resist him.
“I was told by the top leaders to try politics. It became very difficult to say no. I have the opportunity to unite people as a minority – me. I think I can bring a real value to the country.
He was a leading member of the election committee of the Chinese state NLD for the general election, which brought him to the attention of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Today, though, Suu Kyi is still detained and facing multiple charges by the military, and Sasa is fleeing, the situation is much different.
“None of us think this is hell [the coup] Can happen. Because Kovid-1 is happening, it will lead to chaos and will not help anyone. ”
When the coup occurs, Sasa finds himself in immediate danger. He was able to flee to India unknowingly in the guise of a taxi driver.
“We saw smoking guns, the government around us, everywhere on every street. I started thinking about how to get out of there. The only way was to act like a taxi driver – it took me three days and nights – I thought I would be arrested and killed.
Sasa is still on the run and admits that his current situation is still “very difficult”. After his political involvement in the coup, the military brought charges of high treason against him. He represented Myanmar at the United Nations by a committee representing the Pidadungsu Hlutao (CRPH) – a legislative body representing expelled lawmakers.
But he is still optimistic, he said, adding that he is honored for “uniting the people” with an “inclusive government” for Myanmar.
“That feeling of risking life every day, it’s uncomfortable, it’s painful. But the way we are building the future, we are building a beautiful future for all.
“Hopefully, sooner or later we will see a new Myanmar, a new future,” he said. “All the sacrifices we have made, history will look back and remember something great.”