Myanmar’s parallel civilian government announces interim cabinet
Bangkok, Apr 16 (EFE).- Myanmar’s self-proclaimed “legitimate government”, made up of elected parliamentarians, on Friday reinforced its position as an alternative to the military junta with its own interim cabinet, as street protests against uniformed people continued.
“The Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), with the authority bestowed by the people’s mandate resultant of all parties’ democratic election held in 2020 has formed the National Unity Government (…) in accordance with the Federal Democracy Charter published on the 31st of March 2021,” CRPH said in a statement.
The new government continues to be symbolically presided over by U Win Myint and Aung San Suu Kyi remains state adviser, but given that both are under arrest since February, the leadership falls on Mahn Win Khaing Than, now appointed prime minister.
Dr. Sasa, the most visible face of the movement, becomes Minister of International Cooperation in a cabinet that, according to the Myanmar Now newspaper, includes several members of ethnic minorities.
This interim government comes after the CRPH announced on Mar.31 that it considered the 2008 constitution null and void following the military coup on Feb.1, and proposed an interim federal democracy charter, on which this national unity government is based.
The announcement came on the third day of the Buddhist New Year celebrations, which this year has been marred by daily protests, which continued on Friday, and a brutal repression by law enforcement authorities.
Activities in major cities were paralyzed Friday morning due to a new “silent strike” in which the civil disobedience movement urged citizens to stay home in protest against the brutality of the military junta.
According to Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 726 people have died from the repression by law enforcement authorities since the coup and 3,151 have been arbitrarily detained.
Two of the most recent arrests occurred on Thursday night, when a group of soldiers stormed a monastery in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, according to Myanmar Now.
The brutality by uniformed personnel has led to severe criticism and sanctions by the European Union and countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, although the international community has failed to agree on common actions such as a global arms embargo against Myanmar.
The army has justified the coup on grounds of alleged electoral fraud in the November elections last year – held in the presence of international observers -, in which Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide like in 2015. EFE