July 25, 2021

Burmese diplomats enter into resistance

By Brice Pedroletti

Posted today at 5:09 am

Daw Chaw Kalyar, Third Secretary at the Burmese Embassy in Berlin, June 16, 2021.

In Paris, Berlin, Ottawa, but also in Washington, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, London, as well as in Los Angeles and Geneva, dozens of diplomats from Burmese embassies and consulates abroad have joined the civil disobedience movement. after the coup d’etat of 1is February. Laid off, deprived of wages, housing, status, and unable to return to their country where they risk arrest, they try to organize themselves to survive, while contributing as much as they can to the government. national unity (NUG), formed on April 16 by deputies and pro-democracy politicians who went into exile.

They participate in particular in exchanges between their host country and the NUG. According to the latter, 20 diplomats abroad have entered into resistance, while in Naypyidaw, 120 officials employed in the foreign ministry have taken the plunge. Some of our interlocutors say they have received death threats.

Aged in his fifties, Daw Chaw Kalyar, third secretary at the Burmese embassy in Berlin, announced on her Facebook account on March 4 that she had chosen to join the civil disobedience movement. “It was the hardest decision of my life”, she tells us. Two of her colleagues who share her ideas from the start have decided to follow her.

Kyaw Moe Tun, a “model”

For all three, the trigger was “The courageous action of Kyaw Moe Tun, the Burma ambassador to the United Nations, on February 26”, in New York, specifies Daw Chaw Kalyar: that day, the official representative of Naypyidaw at the UN refuses to read from the rostrum the speech prepared for him by the military. He condemns, on behalf of the representative committee of the Burmese Parliament (CRPH), made up of elected parliamentarians who entered into resistance, “The crimes against humanity committed by the junta against the Burmese people”, sous the applause of the assembly.

Daw Chaw Kalyar, Third Secretary at the Burmese Embassy, ​​Berlin, June 16, 2021. She joined the civil disobedience movement.

“His gesture was decisive. It is a model for us ”, continues Mme Kalyar. On March 10, an email from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she worked for 23 years, informed her of her dismissal. “The hardest part for us is knowing that we’re going to have to stay abroad and that we won’t see our family again if we don’t win this battle. Most of the diplomats who joined the civil disobedience movement thought of returning to their country first and rallying there, on the spot. But we finally realized that by doing it abroad, as diplomats, it could put more pressure on the junta ”, she says.

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