The junta has been backed into a corner as people across Myanmar protest, determined not to compromise. The Committee Representing the Union Parliament, comprised of members of parliament not allowed to take their seats, invoked the people’s right to self-defence. The conflict risks becoming even more violent with the Kachin Independence Army vowing to fight the junta.
Lawlessness began with the junta’s abuse of the rhetoric of ‘public emergency’ under the 2008 Constitution after the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) failed to make electoral gains the in November election. But calls from the public for constitutional reform may grow louder, threatening to end the military’s grip on the country.
The military’s abuse of the judicial system compounds the quagmire. The generals plan to remove Aung San Suu Kyi from the political arena through sham trials. This will add fuel to the fire given that she remains the iconic and popular champion of democracy in Myanmar.
Some neighbouring countries seem impervious to the human rights violations and have imposed restrictions on domestic protests. In Thailand, immigration authorities warned that foreigners engaging in protests risk the revocation of their visas. Singapore also warned against planned protests over Myanmar. And Malaysia has deported Myanmar nationals despite a court order to suspend their repatriation following appeals by human rights groups.
Some countries are also compounding the people’s suffering by flouting international refugee law. The principle of non-refoulement is not being respected at the Indian border of Mizoram or in Thailand’s northern regions.