Humanitarian Aid Should not Legitimize Burmese Junta

GUWAHATI: Providing humanitarian aids to Myanmar (formerly Burma) in the time of Covid-19 pandemic should not strengthen the ruling military junta of the south-east Asian nation regionally and internationally, which had toppled the democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi’s government on 1 February 2021.

One should not forget that the military rulers have so far killed at least 945 people, arrested over 7,026, detained (sentenced) nearly 5,474 and displaced more than 230,000 ethnic minorities since the coup. Meanwhile, the junta has arrested no less than 98 journalists where 43 scribes are still behind the bars and almost crushing the free press.

Kind of debates have lately emerged in public domain as Myanmar is presently facing the pandemic with lesser number of vaccinated citizens and low-quality medical cares for its 60 million population, stated the Progressive Voice and Asian forum for human rights and development in a joint statement issued on 4 August from Thailand’s capital Bangkok.

Both the organisations however emphasized on proving humanitarian assistances to the Burmese people and urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the international community to continue the service through the corona task force set up by the present regime in NayPieTaw.

One hundred days have passed since ASEAN leaders and the military boss Min Aung Hlaing reached the consensus over Myanmar during the ASEAN leaders’ meeting on 24 April 2021, but on the ground, little progress has been achieved towards realizing the agreement, added the statement.

Meanwhile, the human rights and humanitarian disasters have been further compounded in the poverty-stricken country following the latest wave of flood. The military junta has weaponized both the corona and flood for its own political gain. It starts calling the international community to support the relief efforts as a ploy to gain the legitimacy.

“On the ground, the junta continues to arrest and harass the healthcare workers with expertise on Covid-19,” said Khin Ohmar, chairperson of Progressive Voice, while speaking to this correspondent, adding that the international aids including medical ventilators, oxygen concentrators, vaccines doses, etc should reach the Burmese people, but it should not offer an opportunity for the junta to get its due legitimacy.