At least 31 prominent personalities from various fields, including a few from outside India, have decided to send a statement of solidarity to the suffering people of Myanmar.

“We stand with the people of Myanmar in their struggle for peace, democracy, political freedom, human rights and just economic development,” the statement titled ‘Myanmar We Care’ said.

The statement said they have decided not to accept the military rule and dictatorship under which they have suffered for so long.

“They are right to do so. For decades, Myanmar, a country of immense natural wealth, has been impoverished by bad governance. Authoritarian rule knows only how to dominate, and does so with lies. Now it is destroying even the meagre democratic gains of the past two decades,” the statement read.

It opined that if these gains are to be restored, this will come through people who build trust across the country’s divisions and unite Myanmar’s people, giving the ethnic minorities their rightful role in national affairs.

Then a workable democracy can emerge, in which the Tatmadaw returns to the true, honourable role of a national army, the statement felt.

“We can all help. We can support those in Myanmar who are active in this struggle. We can send desperately-needed humanitarian support. We can work through our governments, institutions and media to keep the spotlight on Myanmar and persuade the Tatmadaw to heed the people. We can take inspiration from the courage and commitment of Myanmar’s people, and tackle the sources of division in our own countries – the greed and corruption, power-seeking and hatred,” it added.

According to the statement, it is not just Myanmar that needs to turn confrontation into cooperation.

“We need it worldwide if we are to meet the immense global challenges we face. There is no point in just blaming our leaders, even if they are often guided by wrong priorities.

“We citizens need to take responsibility ourselves, otherwise our children will endure continuing pandemics, immense heat, massive migration, environmental destruction, conflict over resources,” the statement said.

Those who have agreed to sign statement are Son Soubert, Privy Councillor to the King of Cambodia and Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly, Seumas Graham, MP, House of Lords, Duke of Montrose, Scotland, UK,  Dr Jehan Perera, Executive Director, National Peace Council, Sri Lanka, Radhabinod Koijam, former Manipur Chief Minister, Babloo Loitongbam, Executive Director, Human Rights Alert, Manipur, Prof Amar Yumnam, former Vice Chancellor, Manipur University, and Chair, Humanitarian Sub-Committee for Myanmarese Refugees , Paresh Malakar, Secretary, Axom Nagarik Samaj , Achan Mungleng, Regional Consultant, Henry Martyn Institute, Ukhrul, Manipur, Prof Udayon Mishra, Dibrugarh, Patricia Mukhim, Editor, The Shillong Times, Pradip Phanjoubam, Editor, Imphal Review of Arts and Politics, Geoffrey Yaden, Editor, Nagaland Post, and  Niketu Iralu, former Chair, Naga National Reconciliation Process, among others.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com