Conflicts & War

Lawmakers launch inquiry into global response to Myanmar coup

Bangkok, Jun 15 (EFE).- A group of eight international lawmakers on Wednesday launched an inquiry into the global response to the coup in Myanmar on Feb. 1, 2021.

The vice-president of the European Parliament, Heidi Hautala, will chair the International Parliamentary Inquiry, which also comprises lawmakers from Indonesia (two members), Malaysia, Thailand, Gambia, South Africa and the United States.

This commission seeks to “assess the response of the international community to the crisis in Myanmar, with the aim of formulating effective policy recommendations for courses of action that could end the violence and positively address the urgent needs in the country,” the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) association said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The response to the devastating crisis unfolding in Myanmar is going nowhere fast. As parliamentarians, we know that governments and international institutions can, and must, do more to end the current impasse,” Hautala said.

“These hearings aim to shed light on where the response is falling short, and to provide information on the next steps that can be taken to put effective pressure on the Myanmar junta.”

The independent committee, which will hold public hearings in June and July, will request information from governments and international organizations and accept written and oral testimony on nine questions, including: How can international actors improve their response to the crisis in Myanmar? How can, and how should, governments engage and support the democratic opposition, civil society, and ethnic organizations? What protection is being given and what is lacking for Myanmar refugees?

“We, as parliamentarians from all over the world united by a common purpose, will approach this inquiry unhindered by the type of geopolitical considerations that have resulted in the current deadlock,” Charles Santiago, Chair of APHR, said.

He also expressed concern that the “situation in Myanmar is worsening the longer the international inertia continues.”

Myanmar was plunged into a deep political, social and economic crisis with the coup, which has unleashed a spiral of violence with new civilian militias that have exacerbated decades of guerrilla warfare.

At least 1,941 people have died as a result of brutal repression by security forces, according to data collected by the Myanmar non-profit Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Several countries have imposed selective sanctions on the military junta and companies linked to the army, which has isolated the country from the international community, although it still has strong ties with China and Russia. EFE


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