[Joint Open Letter] Myanmar: Open Letter to ASEAN Defence Ministers Regarding Myanmar Junta Participation in ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)


    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.

    Organisation/s Involved

    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

    How to Support The Campaign

    For any further inquiries, please contact:

    Khin Ohmar, Progressive Voice, [email protected]
    Debbie Stothard, ALTSEAN-Burma, [email protected]
    Salai Za Uk Ling, Chin Human Rights Organization, [email protected]