Bangkok, Jan 4 (EFE).- The self-styled Government of National Unity of Myanmar insisted Tuesday on the “defensive war” as the only solution to defeat the military junta that seized power in February through a coup.
The group, made up of politicians and activists loyal to ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accused the coup plotters of “repressing, torturing, killing and committing crimes against their own population” and of holding the country as “their own hostage.”
“Right now, people have only one option. Launch a defensive war, a war where all people can participate in different ways,” the group’s President Duwa Lashi La said in a video released on the occasion of the 74th anniversary of Myanmar’s independence.
In early September, the group declared a “defensive war” against the military junta after forming its own militia in May, the Force for the Defense of the People.
The civilian militia, which in some parts of the country acts alongside some ethnic guerrillas fighting for decades against the army, has since staged numerous skirmishes and caused significant casualties in the military ranks.
After the Feb. 1 coup and prior to the armed struggle, the Movement for Civil Disobedience, started by insurgent doctors and nurses in command of the military, began an indefinite strike to boycott the junta that continues to cripple the country’s economy.
It also calls for a boycott of businesses linked to the military, such as the beer brands produced by Myanmar Brewery.
The group has also called on Myanmar to stop paying taxes, stop buying state-issued lottery, and to not pay electricity and water bills, as other forms of peaceful resistance against the coup plotters.
Eleven months after the coup, the military junta still does not have complete control of the country despite the violence used against dissent, which has so far caused almost 1,400 deaths and more than 11,200 detainees, according to the Myanmar Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners.
In 1948, Myanmar gained independence from Britain, although the military seized power in 1962 and ruled during a succession of dictatorships until 2011, when a transition to democracy began, culminating in the 2015 election victory of Suu Kyi.
The military junta, which justifies the coup on an alleged fraud in the November 2020 elections – promised to hold elections before mid-2023, although the alternative government says these elections “will not be free or fair, nor will they reflect the popular will.” EFE