After the Myanmar Military (aka the Tatmadaw) initiated its attempt to seize state power in the Union of Myanmar on 1 February 2021, a massive popular uprising began to resist this attempt and to abolish Military rule once and for all. We as scholars and professionals from around the world with experience and expertise on the Union of Myanmar have drafted this open letter to governments and MPs to help shape an informed response to the current crisis in the country.
The letter argues the following main points:
- the illegitimate military takeover in Myanmar is not a fait accompli;
- governments around the world should recognize and support the National Unity Government (NUG) formed by the democratic forces in Myanmar as the legitimate government of the country;
- the NUG derives its legitimacy from the November 2020 general elections, but also through the broad coalition it formed amongst the people of Myanmar;
- this broad coalition also has the potential to end the civil war of over seven decades;
- any attempts at mediation or “compromise” to return to the status quo ante rely on wishful thinking;
- the international community should see this as a historical chance for Myanmar for democratization, with positive effects for the whole region, and thus support the democratic forces to succeed.
The letter was signed by over 100 scholars and professionals and sent to governments and MPs around the world. We also offered to give hearings to the addressees.
The signatories include political scientists, jurists, historians, anthropologists, conflict and human rights specialists, former diplomats, journalists, scholars of Buddhism, (Southeast) Asian Studies and International Development, and former NGO professionals. All of us have significant research and work experience on the Union of Myanmar.