Open Letter to ASEAN Defence Ministers

To:
H.E. General Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence, Cambodia 

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulahibni Al-Marhum, Minister of Defense, Brunei Darussalam

H.E. Prabowo Subianto, Minister of Defence, Indoensia

H.E. General Chansamone Chanyalath, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence, Lao PDR

The Honourable Dato' Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein, Senior Minister of Defence, Malaysia

H.E. Delfin N. Lorenzana, Secretary of National Defense, Philippines

H.E. Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence, Singapore

H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Thailand

H.E. General Phan Van Giang, Minister of National Defence, Viet Nam

 

June 15 2022

Re: Myanmar junta participation in ADMM

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned 677 Myanmar, regional and international civil society organizations, appeal to you not to extend an invitation to the Myanmar military junta's Minister of Defence at the upcoming ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM). 

The Myanmar military junta's acts meet the definition of terror under international and national law and are responsible for ongoing violations of international human rights and humanitarian law following the military's illegal coup attempt. Since the military's illicit attempt coup, almost 700,000 people have been forcibly displaced as the junta waged a terror campaign against the Myanmar people. In the face of mass public resistance, the junta has murdered more than 1,900 people, arbitrarily arrested over 14,000 more, committed widespread torture, indiscriminate airstrikes and shelling, burnt villages and looted public property. 

In the upcoming 16th ADMM, scheduled for June 22, we understand that the Junta defence minister General Mya Tun Oo will be representing Myanmar. General Mya Tun Oo plays a leading role in managing the military, responsible for committing ongoing atrocity crimes with total impunity. Mya Tun Oo's direct responsibility for international law violations has been recognized by the USA, U.K., EU, Canada and New Zealand, which sanctioned him. In its designation, the U.K. stated that Mya Tun Oo has "command responsibility for these violations and can therefore be held responsible for these actions." Mya Tun Oo is also a member of the State Administration Council (SAC). The E.U. recognized that "as a member of the SAC, General Mya Tun Oo has been directly involved in and responsible for decision making concerning state functions and is therefore responsible for undermining democracy and the rule of law". Mya Tun Oo should be held accountable for his role in the military's attempted coup and the junta's atrocity crimes and not rewarded through participation in ADMM.

We welcome ASEAN's exclusion of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing from the 2021 ASEAN Summit and the exclusion of the junta foreign minister Wunna Maung Lwin from the 2022 Foreign Ministers' Retreat. However, we note with concern that ADMM has invited the junta to participate in meetings, including at the ministerial level, since its illegal coup attempt, which is inconsistent with decisions made by ASEAN not to invite General Min Aung Hlaing and Wunna Maung Lwin. ADMM's engagement with the junta, which has included military exercises, may likely amount to aiding and abetting the junta's war crimes and crimes against humanity.  

It is imperative that ASEAN does not award legitimacy to the Myanmar military junta, upholds its charter and respects international human rights and humanitarian law by excluding the junta from ADMM. In allowing the junta to participate in ADMM, ASEAN is further risking complicity in the junta's atrocity crimes by providing support and legitimacy to the military and encouraging a military that is waging a nationwide campaign of terror. 

As ASEAN defence ministers, we appeal to you to disinvite Mya Tun Oo from the 16th ADMM and all future meetings. Engage with the National Unity Government as the legitimate government of Myanmar, and work to resolve the crisis in Myanmar. 

For any further inquiries, please contact:

Khin Ohmar, Progressive Voice,  

Debbie Stothard, ALTSEAN-Burma,  

Salai Za Uk Ling, Chin Human Rights Organization,  

 

List of Signatories

The list of signatories below includes 299 Myanmar, regional and international organizations and 378 Myanmar civil society organizations that have chosen not to disclose their names.

Signed by: 

  1. "Do" farmer Organization

  2. 8888 Generation (New Zealand)

  3. 8888 New Generation (Mohnyin)

  4. Action Against Myanmar Military Coup (Sydney)

  5. Action Committee for Democracy Development

  6. Active Youths (Kalaymyo)

  7. Ah Nah podcast- Conversation with Myanmar

  8. Ah. La. Ka (12) Hta Khwe, Primary Education Student Union

  9. All Arakan Students and Youths' Congress

  10. All Burma Democratic Face in New Zealand

  11. All Burma Student Democratic Front - Australia Branch

  12. All Religions Strike Column

  13. All Young Burmese League (AYBL)

  14. Alliance for Free Burma Solidarity

  15. Alternative Solutions for Rural Communities (ASORCOM)

  16. ALTSEAN-Burma

  17. Anti Dictatorship in Burma DC Metropolitan Area

  18. Anti-Myanmar Dictatorship Movement

  19. Anti-Myanmar Military Dictatorship Network (AMMDN)

  20. Arakan CSO Network

  21. Arakan Humanitarian Coordination Team- AHCT

  22. ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)

  23. Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR)

  24. Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition

  25. Asian Cultural Forum on Development (ACFOD) Philippines

  26. Asian Cultural Forum on Development Foundation (ACFOD) Thailand

  27. Asian Dignity Initiative

  28. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development

  29. Association for Advancement of Freedom of Religion or Belief in Vietnam (AAFORB-VN)

  30. Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters

  31. Athan - Freedom of Expression Activist Organization

  32. Auckland Kachin Community N.Z.

  33. Auckland Zomi Community

  34. Aung Myay Thar Zan Education Schools Strike Column

  35. Aung Pin Lae Main Strike Column

  36. Australia Burma Friendship Association, Northern Territory

  37. Australia Karen Organization WA Inc.

  38. Australia Myanmar Doctors, Nurses and Friends

  39. Australia Myanmar Youth Alliance (AMYA)

  40. Australian Burmese Muslim Organisation

  41. Australian Chin Community (Eastern Melbourne Inc)

  42. Australian Karen Organisation (AKO)

  43. Australian Karen Organisation Inc

  44. Back Pack Health Workers Team

  45. Bamar Community Tasmania

  46. BCC (စစ်ကိုင်း)

  47. Blood Money Campaign

  48. Buddhist Solidarity Association

  49. Burma Action Ireland

  50. Burma Campaign U.K. 

  51. Burma Human Rights Network

  52. Burma Lawyers' Council (BLC)

  53. Burma Medical Association

  54. Burma Soumalaiset (Finland)

  55. Burmese Community - South Australia

  56. Burmese Community Development Collaboration (BCDC)

  57. Burmese Community Group (Manawatu, N.Z.)

  58. Burmese Community Support Group (BCSG)

  59. Burmese Friendship Association

  60. Burmese Medical Association Australia (BMAA)

  61. Burmese Rohingya Organisation U.K. 

  62. Burmese Rohingya Welfare Organisation New Zealand

  63. Burmese Women's Union

  64. Cambodian Americans and Friends for Democracy and Human Rights Advocate

  65. Campaign for a New Myanmar

  66. Canberra Karen Association

  67. CDM Support Team Mandalay (CSTM)

  68. Chan Mya Thar Si Township People Strike Column

  69. Chin Community - South Australia

  70. Chin Community of Auckland

  71. Chin Community of Western Australia Inc.

  72. Chin Community Tasmania

  73. Chin Human Rights Organization

  74. Chin MATA Working Group

  75. Chin Resources Center

  76. Chin Youth Organization (Matupi)

  77. Citizen of Burma Award - New Zealand

  78. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation

  79. Committee Representing Mandalay Region Hluttaw

  80. Cooperative University Student Strike Column 

  81. CRPH & NUG Supporters Ireland

  82. CRPH Funding Ireland

  83. CRPH Support Group, Norway

  84. CRPH, NUG Support Team Germany - Deutschland

  85. CRPH/NUG support group Australia

  86. Dawei Development Association

  87. Dawei Probono Lawyer Network

  88. Democracy for Myanmar - Working Group (N.Z.)

  89. Democracy, Peace and Women's Organization

  90. Democratic Youth Council

  91. Doh Atu - Ensemble pour le Myanmar

  92. Dragon Dawn

  93. Education and health care for Myanmar-Thailand Association

  94. Education Family (Anti - Fascists Education Strike Columns Coordination Committee) 

  95. Educational Initiatives Myanmar

  96. Equality Myanmar

  97. Ethnic Youth General Strike Committee

  98. Falam Community - South Australia

  99. Federal Myanmar Benevolence Group (N.Z.)

  100. Foundation of Khmer Samaki

  101. Free Burma Campaign (South Africa)

  102. Free Expression Myanmar (FEM)

  103. Free Rohingya Coalition

  104. Future Light Center

  105. Future Thanlwin

  106. General Strike Committee of Nationalities - GSCN

  107. Generation Wave

  108. Generations (မျိုးဆက်)

  109. GenY For Revolution Japan

  110. German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy e.V.

  111. Global Myanmar Spring Revolution 

  112. Global Myanmar Spring Revolution - Japan

  113. Global Myanmar Spring Revolution - Korea

  114. Golden Heart Organization

  115. Grass-root People

  116. Human Rights Educators' Network

  117. Human Rights Foundation of Monland

  118. In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) Philippines

  119. India For Myanmar

  120. Industrial Training Centre (ITC) Family Sydney

  121. Info Birmanie

  122. Initiatives for International Dialogue

  123. Institute for Asian Democracy

  124. Inter Pares

  125. Interfaith Youth Coalition on Aids in Myanmar (IYCA-Myanmar)

  126. International Campaign for the Rohingya

  127. International Karen Organisation

  128. JASS Southeast Asia

  129. Joint Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (JACDB)

  130. Justice 4 Myanmar - Hope & Development

  131. Justice Movement for Community-Innlay

  132. Justice For Myanmar

  133. Kachin Association Australia

  134. Kachin Association of Australia WA Inc.

  135. Kachin Human Rights Watch

  136. Kachin State Women Network

  137. Kachin Women's Association Thailand

  138. Kachin Women's Union

  139. Kadu Youth Development Association (KYDA)

  140. Kalyarna Metta Association (Khin U)

  141. Kanbung Youth (Matupi)

  142. Kanpetlet Land Development Organization

  143. Karen Community - South Australia

  144. Karen Human Rights Group

  145. Karen Peace Support Network

  146. Karen Swedish Community (KSC)

  147. Karen Women's Organization

  148. Karenni Community of Western Australia Inc.

  149. Karenni Federation of Australia

  150. Karenni Human Rights Group

  151. Karenni Society New Zealand

  152. Kayan Internally Displacement Supervising Committee (KIDSC)

  153. Kayan Women’s Organization

  154. Kayin Community Tasmania

  155. Keng Tung Youth

  156. Khanthar Farmers Network

  157. Khumzup Local Development Committee

  158. Kurawal Foundation

  159. Kyauktada Strike Committee

  160. LA COMMUNAUTÉ BIRMANE DE FRANCE

  161. LGBTIQ Strike of Mandalay

  162. Maha Aung Myay Township People Collective Strike Column

  163. Mandalar University Student Strike  Column 

  164. Mandalay Alliance Strike Collective Column 

  165. Mandalay Based People Strike Column 

  166. Mandalay Civil Society Organizations 

  167. Mandalay Engineer Group

  168. Mandalay Engineer United Force

  169. Mandalay University Student Alumni Union 

  170. Mandalay Wholesale Strike Column

  171. Mandalay Youth Association

  172. Mandalay Youth Strike Column

  173. MATA Sagaing Region

  174. Matu Chin Community - South Australia

  175. Matu Forum Committee

  176. Matu Women Association

  177. Medical Family – Mandalay

  178. Metta Campaign Mandalay

  179. MIIT Student Strike Column

  180. MilkTeaAlliance Calendar

  181. MilkTeaAlliance Galleries

  182. Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute Foundation, Inc. (MPI)

  183. Mindat Chin Community NSW

  184. Mindat Community - South Australia

  185. Mindat Emergency Response Team (MERT)

  186. Mizo Community - South Australia

  187. Mon Families Group

  188. Mon National Council (MNC)

  189. Mung Chying Rawt Jat (MRJ) 

  190. Muslim Youth Network

  191. Muslim Youth Union 

  192. Mya Taung Strike Column

  193. Myanmar Accountability Project

  194. Myanmar Action Group Denmark

  195. Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability 

  196. Myanmar Buddhist Community of South Australia

  197. Myanmar Community Coffs Harbour (MCC)

  198. Myanmar Cultural Research Society (MCRS)

  199. Myanmar Democracy and Peace Committee (Australia)

  200. Myanmar Democratic Movement (MDM)

  201. Myanmar Diaspora Group Finland

  202. Myanmar Engineering Association of Australia (MEAA)

  203. Myanmar Engineers - New Zealand

  204. Myanmar Gonye (New Zealand)

  205. Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)

  206. Myanmar People from Ireland

  207. Myanmar People Residing in Canberra

  208. Myanmar Professionals Association Australia (MPAA)

  209. Myanmar Railway, Region (3) CDM Strike Column

  210. Myanmar Students' Association Australia (MSAA)

  211. Myanmar Students' Union in New Zealand

  212. Netherlands Myanmar Solidarity Platform

  213. Network for Advocacy Action

  214. Network for Human Rights Documentation Burma (ND-Burma)

  215. New Zealand Doctors for NUG

  216. New Zealand Karen Association

  217. New Zealand Zo Community Inc.

  218. NLD Solidarity Association (Australia)

  219. No 7 State High School Alumni Strike Column 

  220. No Business With Genocide

  221. Northern Spectrum Youth Association

  222. NSW Karenni (Kayah) Communities

  223. OCTOPUS (Youth Organization)

  224. Open Development Foundation

  225. Overseas Mon Association, New Zealand

  226. Pan Pa Wash People Strike Column

  227. Patriotic War Vetrans of Burma (PWVB)

  228. Peace and Culture Foundation

  229. People's Hope Spring Revolution

  230. Phayagye Peace Strike Column

  231. Private Pre-school Teachers Association 

  232. Progressive Voice

  233. Pusat Komas 

  234. Pyi Gyi Ta Gon Strike 

  235. Pyithu Gonye (New Zealand)

  236. Queensland Kachin Community (QKC)

  237. Queensland Myanmar Youth Collective (QMYC

  238. Queensland Rohingya Community

  239. Rohingya Action Ireland

  240. Rvwang Community Association New Zealand

  241. Sangha Samaga Strike Column

  242. Save and Care Organization for Women at Border Areas

  243. SAVE MYANMAR - USA

  244. Save Myanmar Fundraising Group (New Zealand)

  245. Sein Pan Strike Column

  246. Shan Community (New Zealand)

  247. Shan MATA

  248. Shan Women Development Network

  249. Shape-Sea

  250. Shwe Youth Democratic Alliance (SYDA)

  251. Shwechinthae Farmers Network

  252. Sisters 2 Sisters

  253. Sitt Nyein Pann Foundation

  254. Social Garden 

  255. Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet)

  256. Southern Youth Development Organization

  257. Strike Column of Representatives of Arbitrarily Arrested People

  258. Strike Column of Teachers from Universities and Degree Colleges of Mandalay 

  259. Students & Youth Congress of Burma (SYCB)

  260. Support for Myanmar

  261. Swedish Burma Committee

  262. Swedish Foundation for Human Rights

  263. Sydney Friends for Myanmar Unity

  264. Ta'ang Women's Organization

  265. Taekwando Sport Association 

  266. Tanintharyi MATA

  267. Tanintharyi Nationalities Congress

  268. Tanintharyi People's Voice

  269. Tanintharyi Women's Network

  270. Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (TACDB)

  271. Thapaynyo News Letter

  272. The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)

  273. The Institution of Professional Engineers Myanmar (IPEM)

  274. Together Thanlyin

  275. Twitter Team for Revolution

  276. U.S. Campaign for Burma

  277. Uakthon Local Social Development Organization

  278. United Myanmar Community of South Australia  

  279. Victorian Burmese Care Community (VBCC)

  280. Victorian Myanmar Youth (VMY)

  281. Way Way Nay

  282. We Pledge CDM (Australia)

  283. Western Australia Myanmar Community (WAMC)

  284. Western Australia Myanmar Democratic Network (WAMDN)

  285. Winemaw Civil Society Network

  286. Winemaw Lisu Development Association

  287. Women Activists Myanmar (WAM)

  288. Women Advocacy Coalition-Myanmar

  289. Women's League of Burma

  290. Women's Peace Network

  291. Zo Community - South Australia

  292. Zomi Association Australia Inc.

  293. Zomi Community - South Australia

  294. Zomi Community Queensland

  295. ခုနစ်စင်ကြယ်အဖွဲ့

  296. ဒို့မြေကွန်ရက် (LIOH)

  297. ဒေါင်းစစ်သည်

  298. ပွင့်ဖြူလယ်ယာမြေကွန်ရက်

  299. ပဲခူး MATA