On March 4, the Myanmar Campaign Network, the National Unity Government Representative to Australia Office, the CRPH/NUG Support Group Australia, the Australian Council for International Development, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, and the SEARCH Foundation collaborated to host the Myanmar People’s Summit. The summit united civil society, the Myanmar diaspora, and government representatives in a show of support for establishing a civilian and democratic government in Myanmar. It concluded with the launch of the Myanmar People’s Summit Statement 2024, endorsed by over 339 Australian, Myanmar, regional, and international organisations. 

The Power of International Solidarity 

Mr. Joseph Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of the ACTU, warmly welcomed Prime Minister Gusmão of Timor-Leste, acknowledging parallels with the Timorese fight for democracy and suffering under military rule, emphasising “We express solidarity with Myanmar’s people, urging Australia to take decisive action against the military. We call for additional sanctions and immediate recognition of the National Unity Government.” 

His Excellency Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste passionately encouraged the people of Myanmar, stating, “I appeal to the military junta to honour democratic principles, freedom, and the will of Myanmar’s people. Drawing from our national struggle, we value dialogue, democracy, and international solidarity.” 

His Excellency Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste

The Downfall of Myanmar’s Military and the Resilience of Pro-Democracy Coalitions 

Given the Myanmar military’s recent strategic losses, Dr. Tun Aung Shwe, the National Unity Government of Myanmar Representative to Australia, offered words of encouragement to the people of Myanmar, delivering a ray of hope: “The Myanmar junta has no future now. The junta is losing its apparatus of control. The junta military is depleted every day. Meanwhile, the National Unity Government and its allies are strengthening their military capacity, coordination, and alliance.” 

Kasit Priomya, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, echoed this message clearly stating, “The international community can collectively convey to Myanmar’s military authorities that their historical failures of the past 70 years persist as opposition now arises not solely from the international community regarding the coup but also from the Burman people, alongside other ethnic minorities.” 

Call For International Action – Beyond The Five-Point Consensus 

Speakers called for Australian, ASEAN and international action with Rev. Tim Costello urging, “We appreciate the sanctions imposed by our Australian government, but we believe more action is necessary. We consider this junta and coup as serious as Putin’s actions in Ukraine. It’s our backyard, and Australians, along with our government, need to prioritise addressing this issue.” 

Wai Wai Nu delivered a powerful message to Australians: “We urge all actors in Australia to cease diplomatic and development aid engagement with the Burmese military. The Australian Government must surpass dependence on ASEAN’s ineffective Five-Point Consensus, while companies should refrain from conducting business with the junta.” 


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