June 07, 2021
The National Unity Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (NUG) is committed to cooperating with the international community to prevent and combat terrorism occurring in the country. The NUG pledges to uphold Security Council Resolution 1373, its concomitant body of jurisprudence, which includes the agreed nineteen legal instruments, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/60/288), and the newly established Office of Counter Terrorism that undertakes the mandate of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
In giving this commitment to the global community, the NUG designates the Tatmadaw and its affiliated organizations as terrorist organizations under Section 3 of Myanmar’s Counter-Terrorism Law. The legal criterion for an act of terrorism under Myanmar law includes commission of an offence with the aim of committing an act of terrorism, including “actions to severely damage the security or the life and property of the public.” Generally, five crucial components of terrorism include an involvement of an act of violence, an audience, the creation of a mood of fear, innocent victims, and political goals or motives.
In Myanmar, the Tatmadaw and affiliated organizations have perpetrated the following actions towards innocent civilians, creating public fear for their own political motives, i.e. for the Tatmadaw to control the region through acts of terrorism:
- Killings of more than 800 civilians using lethal weapons
- Arbitrary detentions of more than 5,000 people, many of whom have been tortured and sexually abused
- Decimation of the economy with the near collapse of the banking system and the threatening of people’s savings and property
- Disregard for a food security crisis, with the number affected set to increase from 1 to over 3 million people in the coming months
- Abandonment of Myanmar’s COVID CERP program along with an overall collapse of the healthcare system
- Massive money laundering operations
The NUG also publicly refutes the spurious claims by the unlawful administration under General Min Aung Hlaing that the NUG is a terrorist group. The claim is absurd with neither legal nor substantive basis. There is no provision in Myanmar’s Counter-Terrorism Law that would sustain a charge of terrorism against the NUG, prima facie or in an impartial court. Unfortunately, the courts in Myanmar are under the complete command of the military terrorists, making objective application of rule of law impossible.
The peaceful protests, engagement with the international community, and resistance movement of the NUG in response to the unlawful and unwarranted coup caused by General Min Aung Hlaing are all aimed at stopping the resultant chaos and murder of civilians. There is no credible evidence that the NUG’s actions would satisfy any of the above-mentioned five crucial components of terrorism. Likewise, when considering the 19 internationally agreed legal instruments designed to prevent and counter acts of terrorism, none of the actions taken by the NUG can be characterized as a terrorist act.
The NUG is sincerely committed to cooperating with the global community to prevent and combat terrorism as instigated by the Tatmadaw and affiliated organizations.