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Rally For Myanmar Peace And Democracy

The Myanmar community from around Aotearoa along with other concerned New Zealanders will rally at Parliament today, 9 February, for democracy in Myanmar.

We strongly condemn the coup of the Tatmadaw (military) in Myanmar on 01 February 2021. This coup is a violation of Myanmar’s constitution, it is an attempt by the military to overturn the will the Myanmar people, democratically expressed in the November 2020 general election.

The people of Myanmar fought for decades for the right to vote, to elect their leaders and to express their opinions freely. Some of us here in New Zealand were part of those generations who sacrificed so much for the dream of democracy. We cannot let it be taken away again.

We call for the immediate release of President U Win Myint, State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, legislators, civil leaders and other political detainees. We call for the military to return to the barracks and for the democratically elected Parliament to be restored.

We fear for the safety and future of our friends and family in Myanmar. Daily we hear their stories of despair at the actions of the military. However, we are heartened by the brave actions of many in the civil disobedience movement. Men and women in the mines, hospitals, airports, factories and schools are refusing to work for the military. People are taking to the streets in tens of thousands and banging pots and pans at night in defiance of the coup.

The Myanmar people are showing they reject this military coup and we are rallying at Parliament to show our solidarity with their peaceful movement.

We will call on the New Zealand government to do the same and condemn, in the strongest possible language and actions, this military coup. We want New Zealand to be a leading voice for Myanmar democracy at international fora and to place sanctions on the Myanmar military and its business network.

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