Spring Revolution of Myanmar, resulted from the coup of military with their accusation of false voter lists, has been nearly three years. During this period, anti-military resistance forces have pressured the junta regime in military, politic and diplomatic fronts, and have gained advantages in most of these fronts. Meanwhile, the military has also increased their oppression on people.
This interview with Myanmar political analyst Dr Hla Kyaw Zaw is about the escalation of civil war, possible exited plan of military council, using Daw Aung San Suu Kya in solving the crisis and the progress of Spring Revolution.
TLT: What is your view on the escalation of internal armed conflicts? What will be the possible steps of military council?
Dr Hla Kyaw Zaw: The military council seems to be in a state of disorder, and they are not likely to have long-term strategy. They are working randomly. So they are reshuffling ministers of their administration. The most responsible person of their regime is Min Aung Hlaing. He staged a coup as he wants to take position of state president. Then, their management has been out of order. They are fostering military dictatorship in various ways. Former military chief Nay Win could indoctrinate Myanmar people in Burma Socialist Programme Party. His successor Than Shwe could appease ethnic armed forces with many enticements such as drug trafficking in exchange of ceasefire. However, the current military council has no tactics to persuade. They just consider to kill and oppress people. There has been a decline in economic sector. They reshuffle the ministries. They will not see significant progress. They have been in the state of disorder more and more.
TLT: The military council has announced that they will collect population census in 2024, and will hold elections after that. What is your view on it?
Dr Hla Kyaw Zaw: The miliary council will try to hold election to develop a civilian government. It will be their exit. So, they will collect population census in various way. I recently found a report on demonstration of voting machine. This is just a show-off. However, they are just trying to extend their regime instead of hold elections.
TLT: What will the military continue to do for their exit?
Dr Hla Kyaw Zaw: The military council has lost their control over business cronies and administrivia cronies. They need to change their mind-set for their exit. While they keep in mind just about killing, they would not release the current position. As far as they continue killing, arrest of people and conducting airstrike, they could not find their exit. This time people have determined to root out the military dictatorship. Revolutionary forces need to organize more systematically to end the regime immediately. People will not surrender this time, and the military will be defeated.
TLT: What do you think that ASEAN meeting decided to switch its rotating chair to the Philippines in 2026 instead of Myanmar? Will it impact on diplomatic affairs?
Dr Hla Kyaw Zaw: It was learnt that the switch was first proposed by the military council. They reported that they are not ready to take over the bloc’s chairmanship in 2026. An official of ASEAN member country said in an interview that the bloc just focuses on economy; Myanmar’s political crisis is considered separately; and they will continue trade with Myanmar.
As Myanmar is a part of Asia’s logistic chain, they will contact with the military regime as a trade partner. But they will continue pressure on Myanmar military without inviting to major event. ASEAN has said that they will make relations with NUG, and that Myanmar military take all the possible actions.
TLT: To what extent the military is losing in diplomatic front?
Dr Hla Kyaw Zaw: Yes. They are losing in diplomatic front. They are not invited to ASEAN summit. Min Aung Hlaing held a meeting with ASEAN in 2021. Since then, he was not invited again. It seems that the military do not care it. They are just focusing on oppressing people. ASEAN do not neglect Myanmar in economic sector. Actually, the bloc will not remove Myanmar from the association even if the military regime does not implement agreements due to trade and commercial relations and networks between people of the regional community. Moreover, any decision of ASEAN needs the consensus of all member states. So, the military council has no regard to ASEAN.
TLT: While the military is experiencing various declines, how can they use Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for their exit?
Dr Hla Kyaw Zaw: They are not like to use her at the moment. They seem to have personal grudge against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The military used her in the past as she had high expectation on national reconciliation. She thought that she could persuade the military. This time, she has realized that national reconciliation will not happen. So, the military will not use her. However, they are spreading misinformation about possible negotiation with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
TLT: Could you guess the progress of Spring Revolution?
Dr Hla Kyaw Zaw: Actually, the Spring Revolution started on 7 July 1962. It is a part of anti-dictatorship revolution from successive eras. There are some advantages which did not happen in the past. But we need to clinch the victory as possible as we can to lessen troubles of people. Anti-dictatorship forces need to fight against the military under a single chain of command. We need to solve disputes and conflicts among each other to strengthen our forces. The more we have unity, the close we get victory. Otherwise, people would suffer greater loss.
TLT: Could you make a concluding remark?
Dr Hla Kyaw Zaw: I want to highlight the issue of allied force. We need to strengthen unity of resistance groups, while lessening conflicts and disputes among each other.