Military junta and its reviled Tatmadaw forces are losing ground in Myanmar while resorting to warfare from the air to keep their hold on power against the People’s Defense Armed Forces (PDF) of the National Unity Government (NUG) and experienced ethnic militias who have united with democratic groups to create a new federation in Myanmar after the junta is toppled.
Protests in Bangkok against the Myanmar military junta in the country this week were vociferous but also tinged with optimism with a growing confidence that the democratic government in the country is gaining ground in its protracted struggle and civil war against the military junta which reigns from the country’s eerie artificial capital Nay Pyi Taw and which is reviled by the vast majority of the populace, many of whom have taken up arms against the deeply unpopular regime.
Supporters of Myanmar’s democratic National Unity Government (NUG) took to the streets of Bangkok on Wednesday to protest on the anniversary of the 2021 coup which ousted the government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
The crowd, many of whom are Myanmar nationals living and working in Thailand, called on the Thai government, a key player in the region’s relationship with the military junta in Nay Pyi Taw, to support the democratic forces in a struggle within the kingdom’s western neighbour which has already developed into a civil war.
Union representing Burmese workers organised this week’s optimistic demonstration in support of Myanmar’s democratic government as it progresses
On Wednesday, the protest outside the embassy of Myanmar in Bangkok saw up to 500 people aligned with a union called BrightFuture which represents Burmese workers in Thailand, making their voice heard by the reviled military in Myanmar, the Tatmadaw and the Thai government.
The protest was addressed by Mr Suraj Kiri of BrightFuture who said the event was about voicing opposition to the illegal regime which usurped the power of the legitimate government in Myanmar on the 1st of February 2021.
‘We are here today because we want the Thai people to support us and at the same time we want the Thai government to support us and the National Unity Government, not the military government,’ Mr Suraj told supporters.
The union leader particularly urged the Thai public to inform themselves about what is happening in Myanmar and show their support and solidarity with the democratic forces fighting there against a brutal military dictatorship.
Reviled Tatmadaw forces have committed human rights abuses including the massacre of civilians since the illegal seizure of power or coup d’état in 2021
Young Burmese workers such as Mr Momyo Zaw Zaw said the gathering was a chance to show their determination to defeat the forces of oppression in their home country.
He drew attention to the murderous track record of the Tatmadaw in Myanmar which has been at the centre of countless massacres and documented atrocities against unarmed civilians since the seizure of power two years ago.
The military junta now finds itself fighting a mobilised population which backs the democratic government having formed its own defence force, the People’s Defense Armed Forces (PDF), to fight for the liberation of the country and the restoration of democratic rule.
The National Unity Government (NUG) has allied with ethnic militias and promises after the military junta is overthrown, to work towards a new federated state in Myanmar with respect for all groups based on democracy, reconciliation and human rights principles.
Regime in power in Burma has links to business and criminal interests in Thailand exposed after the arrest of tycoon Dr Tun Min Latt in September 2022
The crowd heard calls for a boycott of Myanmar and its military rulers who have been shown to have illicit ties with criminal activities in Thailand.
In September last year, the Royal Thai Police arrested a Myanmar tycoon and key player in a conglomerate in the country with indirect links to the military ruler General Min Aung Hlaing in a drug trafficking swoop.
Shock police probe into drug dealing and money laundering linked with Myanmar to strain ties
Dr Tun Min Latt’s network of firms was linked with the daughter of General Min Aung Hlaing, Khin Theri Thet Mon.
The tycoon also had personal and business relationships in Thailand which extended to a Thai-based public company involved in electricity generation.
Spirit of optimism and confidence on Wednesday as people feel the tide is turning in Myanmar against the beleaguered junta, both militarily and economically
The spirit seen at last Wednesday’s protest was one of optimism with growing confidence both within and without Myanmar that the military regime there can be toppled.
In recent weeks, even the Chinese Communist Party and government in Beijing, a long-time supporter of the junta, has signalled an ambiguous stance by failing to attend key summits while also expressing solidarity with the National League for Democracy, the country’s former ruling party led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
The junta meanwhile continues to be dependent on China, as well as Russia, for arms supplied indirectly via Pakistan and economic support for a tanking economy.
The junta in Nay Pyi Taw is responding to this momentum against it by suggesting that it may call a General Election this year.
The response from the National Unity Government (NUG) and its supporters has been one of scepticism despite an insistence by General Min Aung Hlaing that such a poll would be free, fair and transparent.
Military seeks a quasi-democratic electoral system which will guarantee its power. The move has been rejected by the National Unity Government (NUG)
In the run-up to the 2021 coup, the military accused the country’s ruling political party, with which it had shared power since 2016 following the general election there in 2015, the National League for Democracy, of election fraud after the ruling party increased its grip on power in the general election of November 2020 with the military’s proxy party losing ground.
Already Aung San Suu Kyi’s party has rejected taking part in what it sees as a sham election which General Min Aung Hlaing described last month as holding out the possibility of a ‘genuine, discipline-flourishing multiparty democratic system’.
The proposed poll is seen by observers as a fig leaf by which the military junta could claim respectability while continuing its bloody grip on power in a country which has seen its air force bomb its own civilian population as the military increasingly resorts to air power in its struggle against the People’s Defense Armed Forces (PDF) and long-established ethnic militias.
Political parties are dissolved but the junta holds out the prospect of the release of thousands of political prisoners being held since the 2021 coup
The military has dissolved many political parties accusing them of being associated with terrorism, leading political groups representing ethnic minorities without a voice in any potential political forum at a national level.
The junta has also offered to release some of the political prisoners it is currently holding with estimates that 7,012 people are being held on this basis.
The regime in Nay Pyi Taw has been checked by strong resistance from within the ASEAN community of Southeast Asian nations led by Indonesia which has seen it excluded from key meetings and summits, a first for the organisation which had, up to this, maintained a policy of realpolitik and non-interference in the internal affairs of its members.
It is also facing a growing number of investigations and legal actions abroad due to its appalling human rights record linked to its crackdown since the 2021 coup but also due to the involvement of the Tatmadaw in the persecution of the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.
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