Statement by ALL Forum on the Military Coup in Myanmar

Asian Lay Leaders (ALL) Forum denounces the Military Coup and associated violence, which
has suspended the civilian government and effectively returned full power to the military in
Myanmar once again.

Myanmar’s military took control of the country and declared a state of emergency for a year on
1st February 2021, after detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders of her
ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), staging a coup against the democratically elected
government. The raids came hours before a new session of parliament which was scheduled to
open and members who won the November 2020 elections were set to take their seats. The
military and its aligned Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has alleged voter fraud
in the November vote, but Myanmar’s election commission has said that there is no evidence to
support its claims. They also arrested and detained democracy activists, leaders of other
political parties, NLD lawmakers and chief ministers of 14 states and regions.

Power has now been handed over to the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Senior
General Min Aung Hlaing, will now serve as acting president. Myanmar’s military has ruled the
country for a half-century before beginning a celebrated transition to democracy in 2010 and
allowing elections in 2015. But the current military-drafted constitution enshrines power for
military generals, who have a quarter of seats in parliament and maintain control over key
ministries. The persistence of a Military rule in Myanmar reverses the emerging political
openness that has occurred in recent years.

Many countries in Asia and UN have condemned what the Military has done in order to take and
maintain the power. International communities in the world also know vividly what has
happened from all the media.

ALL Forum amid commemorating the 50th anniversary of “Justice in the World”, one of most
important documents of Catholic Social Teachings (CSTs), expresses a deep concern for its
people and strong solidarity with the justice-peace loving Myanmar people who are now
protesting against the military at the streets, homes and workplaces.

Responding to Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon archdiocese who expressed in an open letter on
3rd Feb. his sadness of “the moment of darkness” in the country’s history but at the same time
hope of “the resilience of people in their struggle of dignity”, ALL Forum shares and echoes his
concern and support for Myanmar people.

Therefore, ALL Forum calls on the Myanmar military to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release all those currently arbitrarily detained.
  • Immediately restore the Internet and all forms of communications across Myanmar.
  • Allow Parliament to resume and elected Members of Parliament to fulfil their mandate without impediment.
  • Go back to their original service of protecting the people of Myanmar, the nation and its democracy; and not rule them by unlawful methods or even forces.

ALL Forum is pledged to support and have solidarity with Myanmar people’s struggles to protect its democracy with all the goodwilled believers and citizens until the Military publicly apologize and deliberate what we demanded above soonest.

On Feb 6, 2021, Asian Lay Leaders (ALL) Forum

Download full statement here