Encouraging Your Government to Take Action in Burma
6 November 2023
Dear friends and family,
Thank you for praying for the people here and being with us in this. Even in the midst of killing and displacement here in Burma, we feel and see God’s love.
One way to get involved from wherever you are is to advocate for the people here with those in power in your country. You can let your elected officials know about the situation here, and know that it is important to you.
Below is a template letter outlining the situation in Burma and providing suggestions for actions to help.
To find your local representative, please use the link below.
Dear Representative/Senator (NAME):
As a resident of (STATE), I am writing to bring to your attention the situation in Myanmar and request you to use your position of influence with your colleagues and in our nation, to mobilize the good will and vast resources of our great country to help the oppressed people of Myanmar.
In February 2021, the Myanmar military overthrew a nascent democratic civilian government, imprisoning over 1000 elected officials – including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi – while falsely claiming election fraud. The majority of the people rose up to protest, with peaceful marches occurring in cities across the country, as well as in the countryside. The military responded with violence, shooting peaceful protestors on the street and conducting mass arrests. Thousands have been killed, while some 19,000 political prisoners are currently in custody, according to rights groups.
Ethnic minorities in the country have faced this kind of violence for decades, and in response developed their own defense forces in an attempt to protect their people from attack. Many of the new protesters fled the city to join these groups, while others formed People’s Defense Forces, aligned under the aegis of the National Unity Government, a ‘shadow’ government formed of previously elected officials and other leaders who have fled and are now working to provide leadership, while in exile, in the struggle against the junta. These resistance groups are outmanned and outgunned, but have nonetheless grown as the people refuse to give up and their support grows – though outside support has not come.
The military has made no efforts towards a peaceful resolution, no attempts toward elections or any reestablishment of democracy – but has instead escalated the violence and launched all-out war against the people of Burma. Schools, hospitals, churches and homes are regularly targeted by airstrikes, artillery, and ground attacks. Villages are burned and mined. More than three million people have fled their homes and are living in hiding as Internally Displaced People, or have fled the country entirely. Much of the Myanmar military’s air power and other military resources are provided by Russia. China and Singapore are other sources. This is all well-documented by rights groups, the United Nations, and mainstream media sources.
I, along with most of the rest of the world – including the citizens of Myanmar – have observed and been inspired by the dramatic and steadfast support of the US and other Western nations for the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against the invading Russian Army. It is clear that the commitment of our country to stand for democracy, freedom, and justice has capacity for enormous momentum when set in motion. A much smaller commitment of resources and influence than has been expended in Ukraine could catalyze very significant change in Myanmar.
Please see our attached recommendations for actions to support the people of Myanmar and help bring an end to the daily atrocities and crimes against humanity being wrought by the military of Myanmar. Thank you for your consideration.
Recommendations for action:
– Immediate cross-border humanitarian assistance directly to areas of need through ethnic governments and NGOs and direct assistance to the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in the Burman areas of the plains and cities.
– Political recognition of the ethnic groups and support of the movement for a democratic and federal government between the ethnic groups, the Civilian Defense Movement (CDM), and pro-democracy political groups such as the National Unity Government (NUG), CRPH and NLD.
– Protection for people under attack from Burma military and police, both in the cities and in the ethnic areas. The support of safe areas where people targeted by the regime and defectors from the police and army can go.
– Establishment of a no-fly zone over the ethnic areas of Burma to prevent Burma military air attacks against the population.
– Incentives/encouragement to ASEAN members to take action in support of the resistance and hold the military leadership accountable.
– Appropriate sanctions on military leadership and ban on all arms sales to the military.
– Strong encouragement to engage in mediated negotiations between the military leadership and resistance leadership (willingness to be a mediator).