APAY calls for a peaceful restoration of democracy in Myanmar


The whole YMCA community across the Asia-Pacific region woke up in shock and distress to the news that the military had seized control of the country. They detained the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders of the National League for Democracy. Since the military coup, we heard nothing from neither Aung San Suu Kyi or from the deposed President Win Myint.

Only recently, we celebrated with the people of Myanmar on their successful and peaceful general elections where the NLD captured over 83% of the elected seats. The whole country was waiting in eagerness for the newly elected legislators to begin their new mandate when the parliament session reopens.

In recent years, the democratically elected government of Myanmar had struggled hard to regain the trust of the people and the international community. While the global COVID-19 pandemic hampered the government’s hard work to rebuild the economy, they were able to improve its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in recent years. Still, in recent months, the people of Myanmar have been struggling between maintaining their livelihood and keeping the COVID-19 pandemic under control.

The coup d'état, led by the armed forces chief Min Aung Hlaing, has installed an 11-member junta. The military has declared a yearlong state of emergency with the transfer of legislative, executive, and judicial powers to the Commander in Chief. The coup d'état disrupted the internet connections and phone lines throughout the country. The military has arbitrarily arrested the pro-democracy activists and there are reports of increased random detentions. With deep concern, we watched the news of soldiers in armored cars visibly roaming Naypyitaw and Yangon, raising fears of lethal violence.

This military coup is a serious aberration to the democratic reforms that have been slowly taking place since 2015. The Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs joins with the international community in condemning the military coup that has disrespected the will and aspirations of the people in Myanmar as expressed in the recently concluded General Elections. We denounce the military’s actions and call for the immediate, unconditional release of all those who are detained. We urge for the restoration of the communications lines and install the democratically elected authorities to power.

We offer our strong support and solidarity to the people of Myanmar and pray for the restoration of that peace and justice. We pray that the coup will not derail all earlier efforts to help the people to regain their decent livelihood under this COVID pandemic.


5th February 2021


Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs