All Eyes Need To Be On Myanmar

The headline came across my computer screen and it was not so much news but rather what must be the inevitable next step from events that played out this weekend.

President Biden threatens to review sanctions on Myanmar following coup

It was gut-wrenching for the world to learn that in Myanmar the military seized power and detained Aung San Suu Kyi. So it is more than appropriate that Biden called this situation a “direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the rule of law.” But make no mistake on what needs to follow.

Not more words. Rather, the united actions from the world community to underscore what Biden stated. The world community must “press the Burmese military to immediately relinquish the power they seized.”

Soldiers stand guard on a blockaded road to Myanmar’s parliament in Naypyidaw on February 1, 2021, after the military detained the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country’s president in a coup. (Photo by STR / AFP)

Let us not forget what happened in November 2020. Aung San Suu Kyi, along with her party, again won a landslide election and in so doing ensured–or so it was thought by the voters–a civilian government in the country. But this weekend the military struck hard and now Kyi and a host of others who share democratic notions and ideas are all detained.

I am not posting today to in any way promote Kyi as a saint. Or the standard by which democracy should be vowed. She is not. Her previous actions regarding the repulsive nature of defending the immoral generals in their ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims have put her whole being in the light of day. There is much darkness that the light of truth has allowed the world to see. But the integrity of an election and the subsequent actions of the winner then ruling must be the international standard that we all seek to uphold.

There must be a foundation the world fights for. It is really a most simple sentence to write. An election victory must never be undone by a coup. And a landslide one, at that!

Biden is correct to use the power of his office, and the might of our nation to set a tone for how to move forward when dealing with the junta in power. Their declaration of a one-year state of emergency underscores the nature of what we are dealing with in Myanmar. The BBC reported this morning that the army had already announced the outlines of a new cabinet. My readers will not be shocked to learn that military officers, both active and retired, will fill many positions.

This must not be allowed to continue without a very concerted and demanding message from the international community. This coup must not be tolerated.