Myanmar Military Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing in June 2017

Parallel Myanmar Government Launched to Challenge Military Junta

Myanmar civilian politicians and activists launched a “National Unity Government” on Friday, centered on ousted national leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other lawmakers elected last November, to marshal domestic and international support for ending the bloody rule of the military junta.

The launch of the parallel government by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), comprised of lawmakers ousted by the military coup in February, came as anti-coup protesters staged a “Silent Strike” that emptied the streets of major cities on the final day of the Burmese New Year holiday.

The nearly 11-week-old junta that deposed Aung San Suu Kyi and her elected government on Feb. 1 attacked protesters and civilians in cities in the Sagaing and Mandalay regions where resistance to military rule has been robust, killing at least eight people and leaving dozens missing.

The parallel government launched on Friday draws from National League for Democracy (NLD) legislators who won seats in the 2020 election that the military overturned, citing unsupported charges of electoral fraud, with wide representation by the country’s major ethnic groups, most of which have their own armies.

The CRPH — whose name comes from the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the Burmese term for the lower house of parliament – was outlawed by the military regime, but enjoys support in Myanmar and abroad. The group is thought to operate near Myanmar’s borders with India and Thailand.

“Everyone needs to welcome the newly launched government wholeheartedly. We will connect with the world to work together,” said Min Ko Naing, founder of the 88 Generation Students Group of activists who fought the military dictatorship more than 30 years ago in what was then known as Burma.

“We are going through a very rough patch because we are trying to uproot the military regime this time. This is very exhausting and need lots of sacrifice,” said the 58-year-old activist.

Min Ko Naing, who called the coup a “violent and arrogant move,” serves as an adviser to the unity government, which will retain State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint in the positions they held before Feb. 1.

Full story:

Reported by Soe San Aung and RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane and Ye Kaung Myint Maung. Written in English by Paul Eckert.

Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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