Local organizations in Myanmar and abroad say Kyaw Moe Tun has been a key figure in the country’s population and in the military-led government.
A group of 358 organizations from Myanmar and other countries are urging the United Nations to retain Kyaw Moe Tun as Myanmar’s permanent representative to the United Nations, ahead of this week’s meeting of a UN special committee.
In a letter to members of the General Assembly released on Monday, the Kyaw Moe Tun faction has issued a “special statement” to the UN on the people of Myanmar and the government ousted by the military on February 1.
Politicians from the overthrown government formed the National Unity Government (NUG) government, with the military responding strongly to the ongoing protests and a large rebel group.
“There is a real danger that self-reliance from UN member states could lead Myanmar people to lose their right to the UN, or even the military to gain UN recognition as representatives of the people they killed and tortured mercilessly,” said Khog Ohmar, founder of Progressive Voice – one of the groups that signed the letter – said in a statement.
“That is why we want all UN members who value humanity, peace and stability, and respect for the will of the people, rejecting – as Myanmar people are – the military and its brutality, and supporting the U Kyaw Moe Tun and NUG factions.”
The UN Information Committee, made up of nine UN member states, including China, Russia and the United States, is meeting Tuesday to discuss who will represent Myanmar – Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun or a senior representative who seized power seven months ago. The committee shall submit its recommendations to the General Assembly.
1,080 people have been killed in the fighting since the insurgency and more than 6,000 people were arrested, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Some have fled across the border into Thailand while planes have been shot across the border or to fleeing the battlefield.
Kasit Piromya, a member of the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) and former Thai prime minister, said it would be wrong for the UN to recognize a military representative.
“This agreement is in opposition to the UN’s principles of peace, human rights, justice and development.” Kasit said. “Allowing it to undermine the UN will not only undermine every opportunity for peace and democracy in Myanmar, but will undermine the integrity of all UN efforts around the world.”
The UN General Assembly voted in June to condemn the atrocities perpetrated by the Myanmar military, also known as Tatmadaw, in response to protests against the abduction.
“Myanmar’s military is responsible for the killings, civil strife and war crimes, and continues to kill and imprison civilians for refusing to overthrow the government,” said Simon Adams, head of the Global Center for Responsibility to Protect, who also signed the letter. “No country should recognize or support Myanmar’s military.”