Opinion: What does a hip-hop star on death row have to do with dictators everywhere?

He released the first hip hop album in my country in 2000. In Myanmar at that time it was almost a revolution. His rap has touched the lives of many.

In 2011, after serving time in prison for his political activism and just at the moment when our democratic transition began, Zeyar Tau was released and elected to parliament.

Their crime? Mode blames them about “involvement in terrorist acts.” What does it mean? That they believe in freedom.
Government of National Unity (NUG) recorded almost 3,000 people killed after the illegal coup. More than a million people have been forced to leave their homes, many of them seeking refuge in refugee camps. Another 1.6 million have lost their jobs. The NUG estimated that over 19,000 homes were destroyed.
The then National League for Democracy (NLD) candidate Zeyar Thaw in Yangon, April 7, 2012.
I was elected by the people of my constituency in November 2020. I’ve been waiting for the oath to be taken and our next president to be elected. But February 1, 2021 soldiers under command Senior General Min Aung Hlaing was surrounded by hostels where we lived as members of parliament. They put each of us before a choice – will we surrender to their guns or will we resist?

I have already endured 11 difficult years as a political prisoner under the former military regime from 1998 to 2009. I spent most of them in solitary confinement. This time, I couldn’t just watch another despotic general throw my country into chaos. I chose resistance.

So did Zeyar Thaw, Koh Jimmy, and many thousands of people throughout Myanmar. Nurses, teachers, doctors, farmers, even children – they took to the streets against the objectionable coup.

We have decided to defend our legitimacy as elected members of parliament. We formed the Government of National Unity because our freedom will not be stolen by Russian military guns.

Russia continues to be major weapons supplierequipment and training my country’s armed forces, including fighter jets, helicopters and drones, weapons that were used to bomb and kill civilians since the coup.

We have firsthand experience that Russia’s military intervention is not limited to Ukraine. Russia and Myanmar are strengthening their ties, and we see this as part of a larger strategic engagement with Southeast Asia – a coordinated effort to promote autocracy and destroy democracy in the region.

In turn, the military junta took sides with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine. Just last week, a high-level military council delegation visited the 25th St. St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in order to strengthen their ties with the Russian regime.
Myanmar Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on Armed Forces Day in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, March 27, 2021.

We live in a world where dictators support each other to maintain their power. Therefore, it should be clear that the struggle of the people of Myanmar for democracy and freedom concerns everyone.

I am the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of National Unity of Myanmar. My task is to tell the world that we are not defeated. But what can I say to the people of Myanmar in response? What is the world telling us?

A year after the coup, no country officially recognized the general’s regime. Min Aung Hlaing. The military continues its campaign of violence – killing, burning, destroying food and crops, imprisoning people without charge. The generals are accused of heinous crimes against the Rohingya Muslim community and other ethnic minorities in our country.

It claims to target what it calls and calls “terrorists” and blames many of these incidents on resistance fighters rather than its own armed forces.

Military equipment is on display during the Myanmar 77th Armed Forces Day parade in Naypyidaw March 27.
But US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken words in March 2022 should be heard: “There is no one for whom the Burmese military has not come for. No one is immune from the atrocities under their rule. And so more and more people in Burma now recognize that ending this crisis, restoring the path to democracy, begins with ensuring the human rights of all people in the country, including the Rohingya.”

We must defeat this junta by changing their calculations so that they understand that they cannot forever keep Myanmar in the chains of their fear and greed.

Here’s how we’re going to do it.

We must deny the junta the revenue that finances its violence. The United States, the European Union and the UK have imposed some sanctions against the regime. But much more needs to be done to deprive the junta of the foreign exchange it craves.

The military continues to rely on funds from foreign companies to finance its war effort. This flow of money, especially petrodollars, must and can be stopped.

He also relies on Russia. Russian weapons are flowing into my country and Min Aung Hlaing visited Moscow and even received an award from Moscow University after the coup. The Russian veto makes it impossible for the UN Security Council to develop any common position to end this violence.

The example of Ukraine demonstrates how the world can use economic leverage to put pressure on a regime.

So far, sanctions have been applied in Myanmar mostly against individuals – more can and should be done to generate oil revenues and the ease with which the military can use the international banking system to extract stolen wealth and import weapons needed for prosecution. crimes. Recently the UK government imposed sanctions against Russian companies supporting the military junta: this is a step in the right direction.

The murderous activities of the Myanmar armed forces will not stop until their income stops.

Domestically, we will defeat the junta by power of inclusion. My country has been at war with itself for decades. Now, against the military, a new alliance between Myanmar’s ethnic groups is building a new common future. We are addressing the root causes of violence with our new Federal Democratic Charter, a blueprint for a decentralized and inclusive Myanmar. We learn together where we need to go.

This vision has been reaffirmed by our National Trade Union Advisory Council, the most inclusive, inclusive and people-centred process we have ever had in Myanmar. This NUCC brings together representatives of various political parties, ethnic groups and civil society to find common solutions to the problems we face. We learn together where we need to go.

And we put this inclusion into practice. Many areas of our country are already free from the control of the junta thanks to the courage ethnic resistance organizations and people’s actions to protect their own home.

In these areas, we are working with ethnic political and civil society organizations to create local administrations led by people’s representatives, and these new administrations take responsibility for health and social services.

Another element of our plan is to resist fictitious elections which the junta seeks to impose on the country.

The tactic is familiar: throwing an election where only they can run, only they can win, and then flaunting the result like it matters. This traps Myanmar in endless cycles of powerlessness and violence.

Karen refugees fleeing fighting between the Myanmar army and rebel groups in a makeshift camp on the Myanmar side of the Moei River, which forms the border with Thailand.
Our intention is to give the people of the country real freedom, and not some kind of mockery that serves the ambitions of one general who knows people rejected it last time they had a choice.
At the international level, we stand up for the right of the people of Myanmar to the government of their choice. French Senate and other parliaments already decided that we are the legitimate government because we carry the authority of the 2020 elections and the consent of the people.
Electricity ASEAN Five Point Consensus failed. The international community needs a more effective strategy to help Myanmar and restore a civilian government.
This must begin with a more effective delivery plan for humanitarian aid. Relief efforts will fail if donors allow the military to veto how it is delivered — Min Aung Hlaing and his henchmen don’t care about human suffering. They even in the last few days targeted food supplies to starve our people.
Coup leaders in Myanmar tried to crush resistance.  But a year later he's stronger than ever

They have made it clear that they want full control over humanitarian aid in order to gain legitimacy and strengthen their strategy.

We in the Government of National Unity stand ready to enable humanitarian organizations to reach those most in need. Myanmar has a vibrant civil society that is doing incredible work for the benefit of its communities. Humanitarian aid can and must be delivered in an accountable manner to the people of Myanmar.

Finally, we must hold Min Aung Hlaing and his henchmen accountable for their crimes. murdered childrenpeople taken and tortured in prisonvillagers are forced to look after their crop destroyed – Victims have the right to justice and cannot be denied it.

We have seen the international reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This reaction gives me hope. We do not want to live in a world where such crimes can be committed with impunity. People believe that Ukraine can and should be free.

My country, its people, and my friends, Zeyar Thaw and Ko Jimmy, who are about to be killed, are waiting for the world to believe that Myanmar, too, can be free.