Way out or Solution?
To date, experts are looking for a way out and presenting various possible solutions for Myanmar crisis. But no realistic suggestion has been proposed so far. To get a workable approach, it’s a good to extract and compile some good points of recommendations from available literature.
There are proposals to give a way out to either side whoever it might be. If one side gets a way out, confrontation will be reduced, and so will be the sufferings of the country. However, in reality, as each side wants a total destruction of the other, anyone who hints a way out is named as a traitor. Besides, neither side is willing, as far as it is known, to talk. They know they cannot completely beat each other. This will lead to a protracted conflict and a worse damage to the country.
The ASEAN’s five-point consensus is still in great demand. The US, UN, China and almost all ASEAN countries are still pushing the military to follow it. It’s bizarre that the world super powers and the UN are asking for the same thing as consensus. At a press conference, the SAC said “There’s nothing impossible in politics,” and hinted at a possibility of dialog with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The ASEAN special envoy, Deputy-Prime Minister of Cambodia also expressed he got a promise from the SAC for a meeting with her. There are different opinions among the people on whether Daw Aung San Suu Kyi can pacify the current conflict. Some are suspicious if her political power can stop the armed conflicts of today.
The SAC has not taken any action against political parties, except a political auditing. At a press conference, the Union Election Commission (UEC) said they would roll out a new registration scheme for political parties. Some thought it was planned to reduce the number of political parties. Political parties that have been involved in the Union Peace Dialog Joint Committee (UPDJC) are approaching the SAC, but still in vain. In other words, a way out for the current problems has yet to be seen or proposed by political parties. No one knows when they can get involved, either.
Although the UEC officially announced the cancellation of the 2020 election results, the news said electoral complaints of the 2020 elections were currently being re-investigated. If they really cancelled the results, there would be no reason for investigation of the complaints. As it is said the resolutions made by the UEC shall be final and conclusive on electoral complaints, it can independently decide on the cases. According to the UEC website, there were 287 electoral complaint cases altogether, and 265 out of them were involved with the NLD candidates. The 2023 election can, therefore, be like a by-election only for the constituencies where electoral disputes occurred. Despite the UEC’s announcement to introduce a PR system, the SAC would reverse the UEC’s decisions if they believed it’s a sure way out. The 2020 election results could also be revalidated as in compliance with international demands, and the SAC would partly escape from the international pressure.
This could be the SAC’s way out and quite compatible with the ASEAN’s five-point consensus. Other political detainees could be released, except Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. These are just conjectures. Whether the revolutionary forces agree or not is another thing. If it is beneficial for them, the SAC won’t care the views of the other side. That is to say it’s rather too late at this time, and there are speculations that it’s now very hard to recover in time from an economic collapse of Myanmar.
Looking at the National Unity Government (NUG), unlike the previous governments which were in exile, it’s based locally on the border and formed mainly with members of Hluttaw elected in 2020, but added with representatives from ethnic organizations. It’s true to say mostly second or third level leaders of the NLD are in the government. As the positions of the president, vice-president and the state counsellor are still there in its establishment and U Win Myint and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are named as the president and the state counsellor respectively, it is seemingly influenced by the 2008 Constitution.
To say straightforwardly, three ministers who are doctors in the NUG are really poor in public speaking. Moreover, scandals of some key ministers have weakened the political power of the NUG. Particularly, as an inexperienced elected member of Hluttaw has been appointed as the minister of defense, instead of an experienced representative from an ERO whose controlled area they are based on has disclosed weakness in coordinating with other revolutionary organizations. Besides, as they have formed PDFs and waged war of resistance against the military, it’s unclear whether they are a legitimate or revolutionary government.
Nevertheless, the majority of the people who strongly disapproved of the SAC that overthrew elected representatives and staged a coup, they have no choice but to support the NUG. But it has yet to reach out to get all the PDFs which have mushroomed all over the country under a single chain of command. As armed resistance forces have played out publicly, international support has weakened as a result.
The NLD members remaining inside and those who formed the NUG are not in harmony, either. Many NLD members mainly rely on guidance and instructions of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Around that time, a Suu- Yway-Hlutt policy was put forward. Suu means the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Yway stands for the recognition of the 2020 election results, and Hlutt refers to calling the Hluttaw.
Since other organizations and ethnic entities thought this revolution was not really to end military dictatorship, but just for the NLD to regain power, many of them sat aside and watched. The policy of Suu-Yway-Hlutt weakened the unity on the revolution. The EROs will not sacrifice for the NLD if not for overthrowing military dictatorship. It’s now unclear with a question whether to regain power for the NLD or to end military dictatorship and which is first. It should be clearly viewed the general public has supported the NUG because they were feeling very bitter about heinous acts of the SAC. It’s really important for the NUG to value and respect the public support. It can be said some are still wrestling with two opposing ideas whether to regain power by the 2020 election results or to overthrow military dictatorship. It should also be careful not to lose the public support due to the Suu-Yway-Hlutt policy. The people of Myanmar should speak out instead of whispering among themselves that they want to free from under military boots, and they also don’t want live a life under high heel shoes.
The Ethnic Resistance Organizations (EROs) who have been taking up arms for many years seem still hard to jump in. They can be divided into the China border-based and Thailand border-based groups. And they have to check the attitudes of China and Thailand. All these things suggest the NUG, as playing a leading role, needs to have a clear policy and build a strong leadership, and also suggest it has yet to reach an agreement with the EROs on how the Movement should be ended. They should build trust all along the way.
During writing this article, news of the extra-judicial execution of Ko Jimmy, a leader of 88 Generation Students and Ko Phyo Zeyar Thaw, an ex-member of Hluttaw from the NLD in the midst of objections both nationally and internationally came out. The destiny of Myanmar has changed from bad to worse. It can be concluded that both sides have gone on a journey of no return.
Finally, the people of Myanmar are the ones who are only responsible to continue to find solutions to enigmatic problems.