Myanmar’s Military Council Labeled ‘Terrorist Group’

By THE IRRAWADDY 2 March 2021

The CRPH, the committee representing the elected lawmakers of the ousted National League for Democracy, labeled Myanmar’s military governing body, the State Administrative Council (SAC), as a “terrorist group” on Monday for its lawlessness in arresting democratically elected leaders and for terrorizing protesters with killings and violence.

The announcement followed the nationwide bloody Sunday crackdown on peaceful protesters by the police and soldiers, which left at least 18 dead, according to the United Nations.

Since the Feb. 1 coup, 23 people, aged 17 to 59, have been killed, according to media reports and relatives’ testimony.

The military seized power from the democratically elected government on Feb. 1 and detained civilian leaders and pro-democracy activists.

The CRPH (Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw) said the military’s action is “in contravention of the existing laws”.

The military established the SAC with generals and few members from political parties, which had been defeated in the November general election. It changed the law, removing privacy legislation and freedom of expression and threatened to arrest anyone insulting the SAC.

Since the Feb. 1 coup, more than 1,000 people have been detained.

The CRHP said it “condemns in the strongest terms all atrocities and acts of terrorism committed by the putschists”.

The illegitimate putschists’ crimes include shooting live rounds, explosives, rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons at protesters. They beat and arrest peaceful protesters, civil servants taking part in the civil disobedience movement, activists, community leaders and students, said the committee.

“Such crimes amount to the declaration of war on unarmed civilians.”

In late February protesters began using shields and making barricades to defend their neighborhoods from the authorities.

“Due to the atrocities and acts of terrorism of the military, streets and communities across Myanmar have become battlefields. There have been many civilian fatalities and the life, liberty and security of the people are under constant threats due to the acts of terrorism committed by the illegitimate military council,” said the CRPH.