Anti-junta resistance growing ‘stronger’ in Myanmar, says ex-lawmaker

By Sangzuala Hmar

Aizwal, India, Feb 9 (EFE).- Myanmar anti-junta resistance was growing bigger and stronger, and the victory of democracy over military dictatorship looked imminent, said an ex-lawmaker from the country in crisis.

Khawtinsiami, living in exile in India, said the Myanmar military was “facing unprecedented resistance from the people and there is no turning back.”

“The junta is facing losses on all fronts, including domestic and foreign legitimacy,” she told EFE in an interview from an undisclosed location.

The ex-MP from Kalemyo in the western Sagaing division, an important religious and monastic center, is one of the thousands of Myanmar citizens who fled to Mizoram, in India, after the military seized power in a shocking coup on Feb.1, 2021.

The all-powerful army deposed the government of the de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, triggering political, social, and economic crises in the country.

The military coup sparked unprecedented civilian protests across the country and the campaign for civil disobedience, led by government employees refusing to go to work.

Myanmar security forces responded brutally to the peaceful protests and allegedly killed more than 1,500 people in the months after the coup.

The ex-lawmaker said the “brutalities and grave violations of human rights” showed the Myanmar military was no longer an army “but a terrorist organization.”

“The junta has been looting properties, burning down villages, and killing people, apart from trying to control the legislative, executive, and judiciary,” said Khawtinsiami, a member of the so-called National Unity Government (NUG).

“It is illegal for the junta to arrest and imprison political leaders and activists, including Suu Kyi. The junta is committing treason.”

She said the alleged brutalities fuelled the fighting spirit and strengthened the resolve for democracy.

“In Sagaing (…) we already have three battalions of civilian militia, we will have a brigade there very soon,” said the former lawmaker, a member of the security panel of the shadow government.

She said the resistance was receiving funds from the unity government and the Myanmar diaspora across the globe.

Mizoram, a border state in neighboring India, has been the easiest and the closest destination of thousands of refugees who escaped the military repression in Myanmar.

According to the government estimates, the northeastern Indian state is hosting more than 20,000 Myanmar citizens.

The figure is likely to continue to increase with the deterioration of the situation in Myanmar.

“It is not possible to give an exact number of refugees. I have been in close contact with intelligence officials and NGOs. Our latest calculations indicated, we are well over 20,000. Perhaps 24,000,” the Myanmar lawmaker said.

She said the influx would continue.

“I have received reports that there is an intense gun-battle at Mindat and Kalwmyo cities in the Sagaing region,” Khawtinsiami said.

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