Written evidence submitted anonymously (MYA0018)

[Note: This evidence has been redacted by the Committee. “***” represents redacted text.]

 

Summary

  1. This is a personal contribution as a Burmese who either took part or supported strongly democratic movements since 1988. I also learned the history of Burma from the people with the first-hand experience. 
  2. For the UK government's response to be effective, it needs to know clearly about the Burmese military, what it stands for and its strategy. 
  1. The UK Government also needs to understand the current position of the public in Myanmar. 
  1. The situation is at a turning point. Burma will not become Syria by your support. It will become Syria without your support. I would ask the democratic world to support the 54 million people of Burma effectively in their resistance against terrorism and fascism, once and for all. 
  2. What would be the most effective? The Burmese military is an organised terror and criminal organisation. We need to deal with the situation like rescuing a house under siege by the criminals. We need to exhaust their means, motive, and opportunity. 

 

Main Section

 

Depending on my knowledge and personal experience, the depth of the evidence of the following six questions will differ, and my summary conveys my main messages. 

 

1. About the contributor:

 

1.1 The contributor's words here in front of this committee are personal contributions and do not represent his past and present employers' views or that of his family or friends.

 

1.2 The contribution is voluntary. The contributor came forward hoping that his contribution may add some less reported insights into the nature and strategy of the Burmese military and its commander-in-chief. This could help form a plan to return democracy to Burma. 

 

1.3 Personal experience:

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. How can the Government improve its response to the crisis in Myanmar? How can it coordinate more effectively with international allies to influence a peaceful resolution to the crisis?

 

2.1 I would like to thank the UK for its response to the crisis in Burma: strong statements, sessions at the UN Human Right Council and UN Security Council, meaningful resolutions, and sanctions of 9 military officers and key business entities (MEHL and MEC).   

 

2.2 I would like to explain to the UK Government the exact nature of the military junta in Burma to inform better its actions. It is not an army staging a coup due to a crisis; in fact, it caused this crisis by not respecting the people's mandate. It is a criminal syndicate of corrupt generals, using fascist propaganda to recruit, applying a gang culture among the ranks. Its tactic constitutes deception to the international community and terrorism to the inhabitants of Burma. They play games with both East and West using Burma's strategic geographical position. They also have nuclear ambition and are working closely with North Korea. Internally, they attacked the political organisations like Hitler did before he secured power. They attained a false spiritual element, called MaBaTha, as Daesh did. They reign Burma like Escobar ruled Medellin. 

 

2.3 Please let me emphasise that Oxford Dictionary defines terrorism as "the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims." By this definition, the military junta is a terror organisation. They have been shooting protesters in the head, firing rockets propelled grenades into the crowd, killing children and cancer patients in their own home, bludgeoning paramedics for rescuing the wounded, raiding hospitals, destroying private properties, robbing people, taking hostage, kidnapping doctors, sexually assaulting women, and the list goes on. Many people were dead in the morning after the abduction at night. By the 15th of May, since the 1st of February, they have killed at least 765 civilians and abducted 4,609 people, including 45 journalists. 

 

2.4 Although democratic movements since 1962 failed to remove the military rule or stop the civil war, people came to understand what the Burmese military stands for: their commander-in-chief and his corrupt business empire.

 

2.5 A peaceful resolution can only happen at a negotiating position where the criminal generals are weak. They should be dealt with like criminals. In criminology, motive, means, and opportunity are the three things that we need to inhibit. 

 

3. What was the impact of the February sanctions on regime officials? What further action is needed?

 

3.1 The sanctions reduced their status on the international stage even though they have not stopped their atrocity. 

 

3.2 The junta's main international allies are Russia, North Korea and the PRC. This limits the effectiveness of the sanctions as the PRC has just signed deals worth over USD 2 billion. 

 

3.3 The UK government might be able to ask ASEAN member states not to allow the USD transaction of the five junta-controlled banks (MEB, MFTB, MICB, Myawaddy and Innwa) to happen in their countries. MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) 's current order to monitor money flow in and out of Burma will not be adequate or effective because transactions can be made with the money already in Singapore. 

 

3.4 We could also ask to freeze the sovereign fund of Burma in Singapore. This will also be Singapore's benefit. If not frozen, there is a risk of the fund being transferred to jurisdictions such as the PRC, Vietnam, and UAE. 

 

3.5 People of Myanmar are suffering dual economic hardship due to covid-19 and this coup. The UK government could provide humanitarian aids via civil society organisations and the National Unity Government (NUG). 

 

3.6 In addition, UK could provide some incentives to enable the soldiers who do not want to follow the illegal orders to leave the military.

 

4. What steps should the UK be taking to support justice and redress for civilians affected by the violence?

 

4.1 The Burmese military generals responsible for the genocide and crimes against humanity must not enjoy impunity. The UK government, along with its allies, must declare the junta a terrorist regime. The Burmese Parliament and the NUG are trying to bring justice through ICC and ICJ. The UK and its allies could help or support the cost and share the evidence received by its intelligence networks. 

 

4.2 Another prevention of violence that does not require troops on the ground is the no-fly zone. This will also prevent further casualty and mental trauma of many children and families in ethnic areas. In addition, some defence equipment like the Iron Dome will protect many populated areas. 

 

5. What opportunities does the UK's new status as an ASEAN Dialogue Partner bring for mediation?

 

This allows the UK to put pressure on the terror junta without giving them legitimacy. UK could channel any diplomatic work through the ASEAN Commander in Chief Committee. 

ASEAN can offer an exit route for General Min Aung Hlaing, which could be the most peaceful resolution. In addition, ASEAN could deploy later their forces when Burma becomes a UN mandate nation, and they can also help with rehabilitating the rank and file of the Burmese military.

 

6. Is the Government making full use of the UK's position as the UN Security Council Penholder on Myanmar? What further action should it be taking through the Security Council?

 

Yes. Many instrumental sessions were held. However, there is a clear risk of Russia and the PRC vetoing crucial solutions such as a "No-fly zone." 

Nonetheless, PRC is crucial in determining Burma's fate. PRC wants stability in Myanmar for its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Perhaps, making China realising that ending the criminal, military junta swiftly is in everyone's interest, including that of the PRC. 

 

7. Is the FCDO's in-country resourcing sufficient? Are diplomats and other officials working in Myanmar given adequate training and support?

 

I am not qualified to assess this. Current UK Ambassador with his background on anti-Daesh work may provide strategic advice to stop the terrorism and bring back democracy. Ms Vicky Bowman, former British Ambassador, who later worked in Burma as a business transparency advocate, could also shed light on the criminal syndicate of the generals. The BBC Burmese Service also has a wealth of current and archived information around Burma and must be fully supported to sustain their excellent work. 

I could not comment on the British mission's level of insight and intelligence because British Diplomats are rarely outspoken. However, reading the tweets of HE Mr Scot Marciel, the former US Ambassador to Burma, I can say that he grasped the insights with Burmese people fully even more than the journalists and think tanks writing about Burma. 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2021

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