Myanmar: Military coup and its adverse impact

Tushar Mirza - (Secretary, Socialist Workers Party of Bangladesh)

Myanmar has been in South Asia for decades - state repression, harassment, surveillance / spying, sanctions, arrests, and genocide, torture, mass arrests, and deportation of civilians by government agents and / or allies within their territorial jurisdiction. Doing different types of inhumane activities.

In the November 2020 elections, Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won an absolute majority against the Than Tae-led and Tatmado (Myanmar Armed Forces) -united Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). Tatmado, the Myanmar military, accused the election of widespread irregularities and corruption, but rejected the results, demanding re-election. But the Myanmar Election Commission did not consider it and was preparing for the parliamentary session. There are two main reasons that led Tatmado to military coup:

A. They were dissatisfied with the Election Commission for not considering Tatmador's allegations.

B. Tatmado realized that if Suu Kyi formed a government and a civilian government ruled for the next five years, the military's influence in politics and in running the country (directly and indirectly) would be greatly diminished. So if you do something now, it will never be possible. As a result, on February 1, 2021, the Tatmado army, led by Senior General Min Aung Hlai, staged a coup.

General Min Aung Hlai: He is a Bamar (the majority community in Myanmar). Although he is a moderate officer in the military, he is known for his calm, steadfastness and determination. He is also a bit arrogant. He abused his powers in the 2006 (military) constitution to extend his term to five years, ending in 2021. After becoming the Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar's military in 2011, he said, "We have an unfinished business to do." After the 'ethnic cleansing' of the Rohingya from Rakhine in 2016, when the West and the international community sought to repatriate the Rohingya, he remarked, "We expelled them, not to bring them back." An organization that is probably more powerful than an armed force.

Tatmado: Directly or indirectly, Tatmado has ruled Myanmar for seven decades. Over a long period of time, the military has become a monster under military rule. Tatmado is no exception. It is an institutionalized knowledge and talent-based organization that has dominated other organizations in Myanmar. An organization with such a monstrous attitude and a combination of talent is dangerous for any country. They control the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Immigration, including controlling the economy to a large extent by running huge businesses. They also have influence in the foreign ministry. The constitution provides for 25 percent of the seats in parliament for the military, in addition to the seats won by Tatmado-backed political parties. The National Defense and Security Council, the country's highest executive body, has the power to dissolve parliament if necessary. This council is led by the military majority. The Myanmar generals were very clever in the way they handled the Rohingya issue and took the side of both the regional powers and the two permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) in such a way that neither the UN Security Council could take action against them on the Rohingya issue. Their geopolitics and geography are admirable. When one sits down to discuss with the Tatmado General, he sits not just with a military man, but with an intellectual, diplomat, businessman, politician, and leader of a powerful organization who has decades of institutional knowledge of running the country. They say less, hear more and express less. In the case of the Rohingya issue, we need to understand that we are working against a cunning tactic consisting of professionals.

Aung San Suu Kyi: she became world famous for his movement to restore democracy in the 1990s. she was under house arrest by the military junta for 15 years between 1982 and 2010 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In 2015, after 25 years, the NLD won a competitive election in Myanmar. She was criticized around the world for not condemning the military crackdown on the Rohingya in August 2017. Her Western connections, his fight for democracy and peace elevated her. But in reality she is just a racist, power-hungry politician. Reason to say:

A. In 2014, she speaks at Sandhurst Military Academy in the United Kingdom. After the speech, she was asked about her position on the persecution of the Rohingya minority in her country. He replied, the majority and the minority are 'both in fear' and it is really a matter of fear. So she has no comment about this. she is a power-hungry politician who did not go against the majority community or the Tatmador in favor of the Rohingya to win the upcoming elections in 2015 or did not want to upset them.

B. In December 2019, he went to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to defend Tatmado from charges of genocide and "ethnic cleansing." As a result of her decision to go to ICJ, he gained immense popularity in the country. Billboards with pictures of the Tatmado generals were erected behind Suu Kyi in every part of Myanmar, saying, "We are with you." He was ready to give up his reputation as a hero of democracy and peace by winning the 2020 national elections and greed for power. Some of my lawyer friend sat in the ICJ courtroom just 20 feet away from him. she was calm and indifferent as he presented evidence of the genocide presented by the Gambia. When the Gambian lawyer showed a picture of the genocide in InDean village on screen, the picture of Rohingya men kneeling together and then beheaded touched almost everyone in the courtroom. Some Rohingya widows were also in the courtroom, whose sobbing made the court atmosphere heavy. But my friends noticed that Suu Kyi, the so-called mother of democracy and peace, had no qualms. There was a smile of indifference on his face.

C. In 2013, BBC presenter Mishal Hossain Su Chir was interviewed. There he referred to the persecution of the Rohingya and pressured Suu Kyi for failing to address a political challenge because it was not well controlled. Suu Kyi muttered, "Both sides are scared." In the interview with Mishal Hossain, he became cornered. After the interview, Suu Kyi lamented to one of her colleagues, "No one told me that a Muslim would interview me." Such behavior could not be the mother of democracy, an icon of humanity and a Nobel laureate in peace. This behavior is of an authentic racist. she is a power-hungry racist politician who is plagued by Bamar domination. she hates Rohingyas. He may be a tactical politician, but Tatmado is more tactful than that.

China: During a visit to China in 2019, Senior General Min Aung Hlai met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and said that Myanmar is a strategic partner of China. In reply, the senior general said that Tatmado would always be by China's side. These vocabularies have deep meanings. China's energy security is a strategic issue and a key focus of China's economic development. The Chinese gas and oil pipeline stretches from the port of Kukfu (Situye) in Myanmar to Kunming (China), which is part of the Rakhine state (where the Rohingya used to live). China needs Myanmar for its energy security. China would like to avoid the Malacca Strait and the South China Sea as much as possible. As a result, China's consideration of supporting the military junta is strategic as well as moral.

Russia: it is the second largest arms seller in Myanmar after China. Their mutual military cooperation is very strong and deep. After the military coup, a Russian contingent took part in the Myanmar Armed Forces Day parade on March 26, 2021. Even Russia's deputy defense minister was present at the event. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing recalled Russia's participation with gratitude. Overall, Russia has no moral hesitation in supporting the junta.

India: India's Kaladan Multipurpose Transit Transport Project is a strategic plan to connect the eastern states through the Bay of Bengal, the Kaladan River and the Rakhine State of Myanmar. India has invested heavily in this project. India and its Western allies do not want Myanmar to be fully controlled by China. On the Rohingya issue, India hid its moral dilemma for geopolitical reasons but could not hide its moral dilemma in the wake of the coup in Myanmar.

What is the possible future? As long as there is support from China and Russia, Myanmar's military will remain in power for two reasons:

A. If they give up under pressure, their dominance in running the country, directly or indirectly, will be eroded forever.

B. Tatmado thinks that without the military, Myanmar will be fragmented and the country's sovereignty will be destroyed and paralyzed.

Unity Government: It has been formed under the leadership of NLD. The move would further fuel Myanmar's civil disobedience against the junta government, but is unlikely to make any progress in removing the junta. ASEAN has already given legitimacy to the junta government by inviting Min Aung Hlaing to attend the summit. However, the junta's position could change if the unity government, with its military wing (uniting all ethnic armed groups) puts pressure on Tatmador. It must be remembered that the cruel power only takes into account the cruel power. It is conceivable that there will be no effective solution through international pressure, sanctions or negotiations. In the past, these pressures did not bring Tatmado down.

Peace agreement by ASEAN: It could reduce Tatmador's brutality against Myanmar's civil disobedience, but the military will not discuss handing over power to the NLD and returning to the barracks. Tatmado thinks that this option will reduce their power and make them subject to civilian / political power, so that they do not agree. However, if the situation in the country stabilizes, they may agree to release political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, in exchange for meeting the demand for free and fair elections again with the aim of handing over power to an elected government. But as long as the two permanent members of the UN Security Council are on their side, they are unlikely to deviate from their goal. This could lead to a civil war, in which the interests of China and Russia would be eroded over time and wealthy Myanmar would become impoverished.

Security threat to Bangladesh: At present, all separatist armed groups will be very active as Tatmado's vision is to stay in power. The Arakan Army will also be active in Rakhine. The Rohingya armed group can be seen in a stronger position in Rakhine. The Arakan Army and the Rohingya armed groups have the potential to fight the Myanmar armed forces following the policy of peaceful coexistence. Armed groups in Karen, Kachin and Shan provinces will do the same. But when Tatmado sees that their position is faltering, he can focus on the security situation in Rakhine State to prove their relevance as a union savior. Because Tatmado would be reluctant to conduct operations against other armed groups on the border with China, India and Thailand. But in the past experience of conducting military operations on the Bangladesh border near Rakhine, they will not hesitate. This situation could have a spillover effect on remote areas along our southeastern border. An increase in arms and drug smuggling can be noticed. When the situation in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandal is under control, there may be a military operation by Tatmado against the Arakan Army and the Rohingya armed group in Rakhine.

Possible to do: A. Bangladesh should maintain the 'Zero Tolerance Policy' against foreign armed groups using Bangladesh's land to destabilize the neighboring country.

B. Border surveillance can be increased and intelligence activities can be further enhanced (to avoid being surprised). However, by closely monitoring the situation in Myanmar, Bangladesh can proceed with caution and refrain from taking any action or side quickly.

C. In this situation, track-to-diplomatic initiatives can be taken with the Tatmado-led administration to discuss the speedy repatriation of Rohingya in exchange for silence or tacit support. In addition, the Rohingya organization may be encouraged to show solidarity with the NLD-led unity government under the track tour. Because, in the current situation, the NLD-led unity government can show a flexible attitude towards the Rohingyas.

D. From a humanitarian point of view, Bangladesh has earned due respect by providing or receiving asylum to the Rohingya. This is a great initiative so that it does not become a burden on Bangladesh. The rightful and dignified repatriation of all Rohingyas today is tantamount to misery. However, the repatriation of Rohingyas will be the main goal of Bangladesh and international community, which cannot be solved in the form of everyday problems or issues. We need to keep in mind that we are working with smart and smart organizations like Tatmador.

To defend the rights of the Rohingyas, as well as those of other oppressed minorities in Myanmar, a unified, mass campaign needs to be built to oppose not just the attacks of the military and right wing nationalists, but to campaign to end the rule of capitalism, and the world imperialist system in which it is enmeshed. Until this is done, there can be no lasting solution to the problem of the national question or the plight of the oppressed peoples of the region.

Socialists stand for the right of all peoples and nationalities to self-determination, with full rights for all minorities. No privileges for any one group or language; for the right of all nations to self-determination under a voluntary federation of democratic socialist Asian states!