The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) on Sunday (28 Mar) condemned the Myanmar military as an organisation engaging in terrorism by marking its Armed Forces Day with a barbaric massacre.
In its statement, the SAC-M called for a global “three cuts” strategy against the military regime.
Nearly two months after the attempted coup, as the Myanmar military’s Commander-in-Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, made claims that “the army seeks to join hands with the entire nation”, peaceful protestors and other civilians in towns up and down the country were being slain in the streets and in their homes by his security forces.
“These are barbaric criminal acts, calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public with the purpose of terrorising the entire population,” said Marzuki Darusman, one of the founding members of SAC-M.
“The actions of the Myanmar military are the actions of a terrorist group, under any United Nations definition of the term.”
More than 100 people, including at least seven children, were reportedly killed earlier on Saturday (27 Mar). Min Aung Hlaing’s soldiers and police are reported to have seized bodies of people they murdered, dragging them away from their families, and even setting fire to the dead.
“These are the same barbaric things the Tatmadaw did to the Rohingya in 2016 and 2017,” said Yanghee Lee, another founding members of SAC-M.
For nearly two months, murder, beatings, torture, detentions, looting, destruction of property, media blackouts, internet shutdowns, and military propaganda have all been waged against the population.
But in the face of terror, the people of Myanmar have remained strong and united in their peaceful resistance through the non-violent Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and general strikes.
“It is time for the international community to follow the lead of the Myanmar people with strong and united global action,” said Chris Sidoti, the third founding member of SAC-M.
“Myanmar people are calling for international action under the Responsibility to Protect. In response, we want to see three cuts imposed on the Myanmar military: cut the weapons, cut the cash, cut the impunity.”
Call for global “three cuts” strategy against the Myanmar military
In its statement on Sunday, the SAC-M called on on the United Nations Security Council to lead a global “three cuts” strategy by imposing a comprehensive arms embargo on Myanmar with a mechanism to monitor and enforce it; imposing targeted financial sanctions against senior military officials and all military-owned companies, especially MEHL, MEC, and their subsidiaries; and referring the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.
The Council noted that individual states can support the global “three cuts” strategy by imposing their own arms embargos and targeted financial sanctions against senior military officials and military-owned companies, as the United States and United Kingdom have done.
It added that businesses should suspend all revenue payments to the illegal junta and support the anti-coup resistance by suspending all operations in Myanmar, apart from essential humanitarian operations.
“The global ‘three cut’ strategy must go hand in hand with a strong and united effort from donors to support the anti-coup resistance by ensuring urgently needed humanitarian assistance reaches urban as well as ethnic areas where members of the democracy movement are seeking refuge from the military,” said SAC-M.
The Council stated that assistance should be directed through existing local structures and networks already experienced in responding to the humanitarian crises caused by the Myanmar military’s decades of violations against ethnic people.
Call for immediate visit by international delegation to halt the bloodshed, and engage all parties in dialogue
It went on to call for an immediate visit by an international delegation to Myanmar to halt the military’s bloodshed, and engage all parties in dialogue.
“The delegation should include senior representatives of the Association of South East Asian Nations, at Presidential or Prime Ministerial level, or at least, Foreign Ministerial level. Saturday’s massacre may warrant a delegation led by the United Nations Secretary General,” SAC-M remarked.
“At the same time as security forces were targeting children, shooting them in their parents’ arms, a shameless military parade was held on Saturday in Nay Pyi Taw, and was attended by diplomats from eight countries: Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand,” the Council added.
It then emphasized that there must be “no recognition whatsoever of the Myanmar military as a legitimate government of Myanmar”.
The SAC-M asserted that the military is “nothing more than an armed terrorist group, representing the interests of a small elite, that has attempted to seize power over the country by force and forge its rule in blood”.