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News > Myanmar

Myanmar's Dissident Govt. Calls on Ethnic Guerrillas for Help

  • Youth build a barricade on Insein Road, Myanmar, March 17, 2021.

    Youth build a barricade on Insein Road, Myanmar, March 17, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @Ellayumi9

Published 17 March 2021

For decades, ethnic groups such as the Chin, Kachin, Karen, and Kokang have fought against the Burmese state through armed organizations.

The "legitimate government" that was established by the elected lawmakers called on Myanmar's ethnic guerrillas to fight against the Military Junta. The hierarchy of Buddhist monasticism also joined civil disobedience.


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"We will build our Federal Union together. Evil must be repelled by our union," said the Committee of Representatives of the Union Assembly (CRPH), which is made up mostly of the National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmakers who were unable to take office due to the February 1 coup d'état.

Besides removing all ethnic rebel groups from the official list of illegal organizations, the CRPH thanked the guerillas for protecting civilians who are protesting against the dictatorship.

For decades, these guerrillas have been fighting for greater autonomy for ethnic groups such as Chin, Kachin, Karen, Kokang, Kayah, Mon, Rakain, San, and Wa, which together represent about 30 percent of the country's 53 million people.

In recent weeks, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which controls some mountainous areas in northern Myanmar, has intensified its clashes with security forces controlled by the Military Junta.

On Wednesday, the State Sahgha Maha Nayaka Committee (Mahana), which is the highest authority of Buddhist monks, suspended its activities in protest and asked the dictatorship to stop killing, arresting, and torturing unarmed civilians.

In a country where 90 percent of the population practices Buddhism, its decision could have important effects on civil resistance. In 2007, Buddhist monks led the "Saffron Revolution," a series of demonstrations harshly repressed by a Military regime that lasted 49 years from 1962 to 2011.

Despite the relentless repression, Burmese took to the streets again today in cities such as Mandalay, Rangoon, and Naipyido. The extent of the military violence continues to be denounced through videos, one of which recorded the precise moment when a bullet hits a citizen.

International outrage also continues to grow. Pope Francis affirmed that he too kneels in the streets of Burma to call for an end to the violence, referring to the gesture of the nun who knelt before the soldiers to prevent them from firing on the demonstrators.


Pope Francis
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