Locsin is wrong: RP should protest Myanmar coup d’etat

Teachers from Yangon University of Education wear red ribbons and pose with a three-finger salute as they take part in demonstration against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 5, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

Foreign Affairs secretary Teddyboy Locsin should re-read his history. Locsin blames the West for Aung San Suu Kyi’s present predicament. He claims that the West “broke” Suu Kyi when the former president sided with the Myanmar military on the Rohinya issue. You must remember that San Suu Kyi did nothing to address the inhuman treatment the Rohinyans got from the military. Locsin says the West tore her up.

Okey, Mr. Locsin. If the West did tear her up, does it justify the military’s action of undermining the results of a democratic elections won by no less than the party of Suu Kyi?  Does it justify even the arrests of the Nobel peace prize winner and her supporters?

Mr. Locsin should be reminded that the West did not tear Suu Kyi to pieces– the British and the Americans criticized the Burmese military. The world understood that San Suu Kyi’s position was a balancing act. Instead of a learned statement, Locsin’s rhetoric sounds like that of the PR person of the Burmese military which he described as the one institution that glues Myanmar together as a nation.

Myanmar unity does not lie with the military— a nation becomes and stays as one because of the people’s vision of themselves and their interactions with their environment. For ten years, the People had enjoyed their freedoms and no amount of draconian measures can reverse the gains the people already got.

The West is not to be blamed–it is the military elites who lost in the last elections dominated by Suu Kyi’s political party. The Philippines should condemn this coup d’etat and side with what is Right.

Locsin’s position is similar with China’s. Locsin knows that China has strategic interests in Myanmar because this country blocks China’s access to the Indian Ocean. For decades, China had closely developed ties with the Burmese military. And this coup is surely backed by China. Yesterday, China blocked efforts at the United Nations to issue an international condemnation of the coup d’etat.

Meanwhile, the new Biden administration had condemned the coup. As an immediate response, the United States decided to suspend military aid to Myanmar.

The state of emergency that the military declared several days ago, is expected to last for a year. The military elites promised to conduct another “free and democratic elections” within a year.

Aside from the United States, Australia and other countries condemned the coup d’etat. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Burmese people are actively opposing the coup. Some have gone out of their houses to protest. San Suu Kyi called for acts of civil disobedience against the military establishment.


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