Open letter to ASEAN Defence Ministers


Open letter to ASEAN Defence Ministers


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 Honerable 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

15 June 2022

Re: Myanmar junta participation in ADMM

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned 677 Myanmar, regional and international civil society organisations 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 fully meet the definition of terror under international and national law, and is responsible for ongoing violations of international human rights and humanitarian law following the military’s illegal coup attempt. Since the military’s illegal coup attempt, almost 700,000 people have been forcibly displaced as the junta wages 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 defense minister General Mya Tun Oo will be representing Myanmar. General Mya Tun Oo plays a leading role in the management of the military, which is responsible for committing ongoing atrocity crimes with total impunity. Mya Tun Oo’s direct responsibility for international law violations have been recognised by the USA, UK, EU, Canada and New Zealand, which sanctioned him. In its designation, the UK 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 EU recognised that “as 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 to not invite General Min Aung Hlaing and Wunna Maung Lwin. ADMM’s engagement with the junta, which has included military exercises, may likely amount to the aiding and abetting of 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 own 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 emboldening a military that is waging a nationwide campaign of terror.

We appeal to you as ASEAN defence ministers 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

List of signatories below include the following 299 Myanmar, regional and international organisations and 378 Myanmar civil society organisations 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 (FORUM-ASIA)
  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 NZ
  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 UK
  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, NZ)
  58. Burmese Community Support Group (BCSG)
  59. Burmese Friendship Association
  60. Burmese Medical Association Australia (BMAA)
  61. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
  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 (NZ)
  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 (NZ)
  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
  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
  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
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