National Unity Government of Myanmar Human Rights Minister Aung Myo Min is currently touring Australia and New Zealand, speaking about human rights in Myanmar at public forums in Melbourne, Canberra, Perth and Sydney, as well as taking diplomatic meetings.
Prior to joining the National Unity Government (NUG), Aung Myo Min was one of Myanmar’s most prominent human rights advocates and a youth leader in the 1988 democracy uprising. Aung Myo Min lived in exile for 23 years and continued working on human rights issues in Myanmar, particularly in relation to marginalised people.
During his tour, he has called on Australia to employ the “Three Cuts” and “Three Pluses” strategies. With economic, diplomatic, and humanitarian elements at play, Australia has a unique opportunity to contribute to positive change in Myanmar.
What are the Three Cuts?
- Cut economy to junta – including sanctions and cut investment and business dealings.
- Cut military supplies – including aviation fuel.
- Cut impunity – by employing international judicial systems and human rights mechanisms. Australia can also use the principle of universal jurisdiction to prosecute members of the junta individuals for serious crimes against international law such as crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Learn more about the Three Cuts strategy on the Special Advisory Council For Myanmar website
Australia can assist the pro-democracy by employing the Three Pluses
- Diplomatic recognition – high-level engagement with the NUG.
- Humanitarian assistance – including material, financial assistance through Civil Society Organisations and cross-border aid with ethnic organisations.
- Capacity building for human rights defenders and staff of the NUG and Civil Society Organisations.
Join the award ceremony: Is peace and democracy possible in Myanmar?
Aung Myo Min will be awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal for Human Rights on 2 June at the University of Sydney, 3:30pm – 5pm
Dr Susan Banki, Sydney Peace Foundation board member and Asia-Pacific expert in the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences will conduct a Q&A with Minister Aung before the medal ceremony.
Please register your interest for the event here.
Ongoing impact of Cyclone Mocha
On 14 May Myanmar was struck by Cyclone Mocha, one of the strongest cyclones on record in the country. With winds reaching 250 km/h, the cyclone caused widespread destruction along the coastal areas. The impact of the cyclone has left vulnerable communities without shelter, food and water just weeks before the monsoon season, exacerbating their already precarious situation.
Devastation and Impact
Cyclone Mocha made landfall in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Millions of people experienced destructive winds, resulting in extensive damage to homes, particularly in Sittwe and Rathedaung. Internally Displaced Persons’ camps and sites were severely affected, with 85 percent of shelters destroyed. The NUG estimates at least 455 people were killed, the majority being Rohingya whose freedom of movement was restricted. Inland regions like Chin, Sagaing, Magway, and Kachin faced strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding, impacting infrastructure, schools, and health facilities.
Ripple Effects and Challenges
The cyclone has significantly impacted the agricultural and fishery sectors, worsening pre-existing humanitarian needs caused by conflicts, displacement, statelessness, the COVID-19 pandemic, and economic instability. Market prices surged for basic shelter materials and food, putting a strain on the already impoverished population. Damage to communications and roads has made delivery of aid challenging.
Although humanitarian partners have scaled up support to provide assistance to affected communities, these efforts are hampered in some instances by ongoing conflict and junta presence including troops, checkpoints and roadblocks. Efforts are underway to rebuild schools, healthcare facilities, and livelihoods.
You can give support through these appeals:
- Oxfam’s Emergency Appeal.
- Anglican Board of Mission Myanmar Emergency Appeal
- Australia for UNHCR Cyclone Mocha Appeal