I have the privilege today of addressing my brothers, sisters, and comrades in the global fight against dictatorship. The European Parliament’s resounding cry of support for the oppressed and abused Myanmar people has sent a powerful message to the genocidal military junta, and to despots all over the world. Moreover, it has empowered and invigorated the Myanmar people who are, in the words of Henley, “bloody but unbowed”. For your recognition of the NUG, recognition of the will of the Myanmar people, and recognition of the importance of democracy, on behalf of my people, it is my deepest privilege and pleasure to extend most humble thanks.
It is fitting that the elected leaders of Europe should take a stand in support of freedom, democracy, and peace. Seventy Six years ago, Europe crawled back from the brink of annihilation. Memorials to the atrocities of the 1930’s and 40’s dot the continent. The horrors of Europe’s darkest chapter are preserved and transmitted to each generation in the hopes of preventing a repeat of history. But it is the European Union and her institutions which are perhaps the most significant, most impactful, and most distinguished manifestation of Europeans’ collective resolve to establish lasting peace, to oppose tyranny, and to crush any chance of a return to the depravity and darkness of three quarters of a century ago.
Sadly, just as Europe’s darkest chapter ended, ours began. Mere months after our independence, malcontents from the military gunned down the most promising political minds of our country. over the coming years they amassed more power and influence until, like a viper, they struck and infected the state with a venom it could not cure. While Europe atoned for its past crimes and consecrated grand judicial and legislative bodies to the cause of lasting peace and stability, the Myanmar military grew ever more callous and cruel, throwing away lives like crumbs.
I have recounted the terrible fate my people endure many times before, and I will continue to give voice to their pain until there is not one man or woman in power who can plead ignorance of the military’s crimes. The suffering of our people is beyond imagination. Since the coup in February, on average more than four innocents have been murdered every day. More than 16 have been unlawfully detained. Every day. COVID-19 continues to rage across the nation as the military jealously steal any medical supplies they can for themselves alone. The preventable deaths they have brought about cannot be known because the military steal bodies, burning them in industrial incinerators or burying them in mass graves to hide the scale of their crimes. They continue to use landmines to maim and terrorise despite international outcry and legislation. They knowingly target civilians and their homes. They have burned villages to the ground and shelled civilian settlements sending hundreds of thousands of our people into the wilderness with no shelter. Tens of millions of our people do not have enough food, and will only have less as the days wear on.
Be assured, however, that the support of foreign powers and legislatures, the recognition of the NUG, the repudiation of the military dictatorship – these truly are significant and vital developments for our people. Though their fight is just, it is also grueling. Our people are sick, they are hungry, they are waging a war against a well trained and well supplied army bent on the total destruction of free people. But our fight is necessary. In the streets we chant aung ya me – we must win. And it is the support of the international community, the bold and clear statement made by the parliamentarians of the EU, which gives our nation the strength to continue. Which gives our people the hope they need to fight and to survive.
Survival, ladies and gentlemen, is very literally what is at stake. Today, Myanmar is facing her greatest humanitarian and political crisis yet. If we win, we will build a genuine democracy, inspired by the same ideals upon which the European Union was built. We will have a Myanmar ruled by the people themselves, not beholden to private interests, oligarchs, and military despots. A government open to all people, of all religions, creeds, languages, and identities, with equal rights and equal standing before the law. A state run for the benefit and empowerment of those people. We will have a compassionate Myanmar, protecting and accommodating all our rich cultures and heritages. We will have a prosperous nation, investing her considerable wealth into the people, into the preservation of her natural riches, into the industries of the future. The EU will have a proud and valuable ally and global partner. Dedicated to regional peace and stability, trade and development. A comrade in the global fight against dictatorship.
However, should the unthinkable happen, and the military were to overcome the people, and gain the recognition of the international community, Myanmar would be dragged kicking and screaming back into the dark ages. The people will be treated no better than slaves, dying by the millions of malnutrition, disease, overwork, and war while their military overlords grow rich and bloated. The Myanmar anyone has ever known, or has ever dared to dream of, will be no more. We may never again see the opportunity the people of Myanmar have fought so hard to grant us. We cannot let their sacrifice go to waste.
The road to peace is long and arduous, but you have given our people the strength to continue. The path to prosperity is crooked and treacherous, but the ideals of democracy and brotherhood light our way to we do not lose our footing. The European Parliament has made clear that the civilised democratic people of the world will never tolerate despots and dictators. That the cries of the oppressed have been heard, and their demands for democracy will be granted. What the European Parliament has done is to push the genocidal Myanmar military closer to collapse, and we hope and pray that the European Union, and the freedom loving nations of the world follow suit. With your recognition and support, we will push back tyranny and authoritarianism. With the encouragement of the global community, we will carry the torch for all people of the world, lighting the path to prosperity as you have done for us. For your kindness, and compassion in this, our darkest hour, the people of Myanmar give their undying gratitude.
H.E. Dr. Sasa
Union Minister of Ministry of International Cooperation
Spoke Person of Nation Unity Government
Former Special Envoy to United Nations