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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 December 8 - 14  > Military-controlled court's jail sentence on Aung San Suu Kyi kills Myanmar's democracy
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2021 December 8 - 14 [WORLD]

Military-controlled court's jail sentence on Aung San Suu Kyi kills Myanmar's democracy

December 10, 2021

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

A military-controlled court in Myanmar on December 6 sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government, and former president U Win Myint to four years in prison. This is an outrageous crackdown on the leader who has been fighting against the military junta which seized power in a coup. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet denounced the conviction as "politically motivated" following "a sham trial", and many governments and human rights groups criticized the sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi. It is unacceptable to obliterate the legitimately-elected government. More than ever, it is necessary to increase international public opinion against this.

Aung San Suu Kyi and Win Myint were detained in the February coup d'etat on charge of having incited social unrest by appealing to the international community to stand against the junta. It is totally unjust that the court criminalized their resistance to the subversion of the legitimate government.

On the day before the sentence, an army vehicle drove into anti-junta protesters at a demonstration in Yangon, causing many casualties. The Myanmar army has several times fired into crowds and have killed citizens participating in peaceful demonstrations. According to human rights organizations, more than 10,000 citizens have been arrested so far and the number killed exceeds 1,300 since the coup.

The military regime plans to declare that the general election in November 2020 was invalid after the NLD won a landslide victory and also plans to disband the NLD. Lengthy sentences, including 75 years in jail, were handed down to executives of the NLD government.

However, citizens' resistance to the "ends-justifies-the-means" crackdown never stopped. It is important for the international community to strengthen its solidarity with Burmese citizens.

The UN Security Council released a statement in November calling for an immediate cessation of violence across Myanmar and for all efforts to ensure the safety of civilians. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) did not allow a Myanmar junta leader to attend the October summit on the grounds that he refuses to cooperate with the global effort toward working for a resolution to the situation. Myanmar's military regime is obviously becoming isolated. The Myanmar army should immediately stop its violent crackdowns on citizens and accept the international call to work for a peaceful resolution to the situation in line with Myanmar citizens' demand for the reinstatement of the NLD government.

Japan is the largest economic aid doner to Myanmar. Its role is very important in mobilizing international opinion. After the coup, Japan suspended new ODA projects in Myanmar but did not decide to suspend the projects already in progress. ODA projects in Myanmar are benefitting military-ruled companies. It is impermissible for Japan's public funds to continue flowing to the military regime which continues to suppress civilians. Japan should suspend all its ODA projects, including the ongoing ones, in Myanmar.

Past related articles:
> JCP demands that gov’t declare its position of not accepting military rule in Myanmar [March 28, 2021]
> Shii calls for international community to unite against 2021 Maynmar coup d’etat [March 17, 2021]
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