Myanmar junta declared martial law in 37 townships of 8 regions and state on 2 February after it extended the State of Emergency for 6 months. Four townships of Karenni (Kayah State) are included in the list.
In this interview, Secretary (2) of Karenni National Progressive Party, U Aung San Myint, expressed his opinion on declaration of martial law and prevention of elections planned by the junta regime.
TLT: What is your view on the recent declaration of martial law by the junta regime?
KNPP: The junta issued the State of Emergency after the coup. The regime reshuffled its administration on 1 February 2023, and declared the martial law in 37 townships. It confessed that they cannot control these areas. For example, the four townships included in their martial law list are out of their control in administrative, legislative and judicial sectors.
While the junta is oppressing people, they are trying to avoid prosecution of international judicial bodies in relation to crime against humanity and genocide by declaring the martial law in these areas to torture civilians more violently.
TLT: How will KNPP take action against the junta’s attempts to hold the elections?
KNPP: I understand that only democratic election is required for the emergence of a good government. However, their planned election will not be legitimate, fair and dependent. It will not be the way to elect genuine and essential leaders of the country. So, their election will lead the country to a failed state.
For the ethnic armed organizations, their fraudulent election will not be fair. We need to inform our people and international communities that the junta is illegal and illegitimate to hold the election. We need to educate both political parties and public not to contest and cast vote in the elections, while the armed clashes are breaking out in the state.
TLT: What do you think about the junta’s propaganda to international communities to recognize their peace-making plan for the state?
KNPP: The reason for civil war in our country is due to the lack of equality among ethnic groups, justice and self-administration. In the past 70 years, our generations have grown up under one-party system and military dictatorship. So, we were unable to establish a genuine federal democratic union expected by all the ethnic nationalities.
Moreover, the 2008 State Constitution referred by the regime is just a tool to prolong the military dictatorship, and is not a charter that will enable the country to develop into a federal democratic union.
Therefore, international communities should support to adopt a new constitution which can transform the country from the dictatorship system to the federal democracy union. The parliamentary representatives elected in 2020 General Elections were arrested after the coup. The military is no more a legitimate organization. As per 2008 Constitution, they have authority to hold elections, or to negotiate with ethnic armed groups. The international communities should not recognize these works, and they should support in the development of a union with federal democracy system .