Myanmar Spring Chronicle – August 16 Scenes
MoeMaKa, August 17 2022

UN Special Envoy’s first visit after the military coup. The regions which will continue to suffer from floods amidst the political crisis,

Singaporean Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, who has been assigned as the UN Special Envoy for Myanmar, arrived in Yangon on August 16 and was scheduled to meet with the leader of the Myanmar Military Council on August 17. The press release issued by the United Nations said that not only the military leader, but all stakeholders would meet.

This role of the UN’s Special Envoy has existed since before the military coup. Before the coup, it was Christine Burgener and she continued to be in charge until several months after the coup. Although there were online discussions with the vice chairman of the Myanmar Military Council, Soe Win, Deputy Commander in Chief, the result was nothing special. After that, the current Special Envoy, Dr. Noleen Heyzer from Singapore, was in charge, and it was the first trip she made in person after the military coup.

It was not yet known what the results of this trip would be, and whether it would be based on the 5 points of ASEAN’s consensus or whether other points would be discussed. According to the standing of the United Nations, it was assumed that there would be a basic discussion on humanitarian aid issues. There is also the possibility that Myanmar’s political crisis will affect other countries in the region, and Thailand is currently dealing with the problem of illegal and legal migrants. Due to the implications of Myanmar’s political problem, Thailand suffers both the negative impacts and the advantages, and due to Thailand’s acceptance of the opposition to a certain extent, it can still travel as a place to escape from the military council’s repression.

During the trip of the UN Special Envoy, it was not seen that the Military Council would do any special concessions, and it was likely that they would only repeat their position. Perhaps even this permission to come is intended to spread propaganda in the international diplomatic field, like a staged-concession by the military council.

The second topic for today is the consequences of climate change, such as heavy rains, flooding of homes, and there were also reports of damage to agricultural crops, people losing their lives due to being washed away by flood, and crushed by fallen trees, in some areas. In the normal monsoon season, due to storms, low pressure, etc, it rains heavily and frequent floods occur until mid-July and August, but it is seen that it happens almost every year during these years. Environmental damage, deforestation and the shallowness of the river converge to cause river floods.

In more than a year after the military coup, the rule of law has deteriorated, and we read on the news that even in areas that could have been maintained before, there are timber theft, gold digging and excessive gem digging. We can see that the destruction of this past year is enough to make things that have been preserved for a decade become ‘ahosikam’ (become wastage). The economic hardship is not the main reason for digging gem resources, forest smuggling and gold mining, but the lack of law enforcement and order, and the fact that people in power are allowed to do what they want by paying bribes is the main reason. In addition to the fact that natural disasters have become more severe in the recent past, there is also the possibility that we will face more consequences in the future.

Another point is that when faced with such a natural disaster, as the ruling government is at odds with the majority of the public and their own security is the main priority, pubic policy for disaster prevention and rescue cannot be done well, and the community has to help each other and rescue each other.

When a natural disaster strikes, the public does not want to receive the kind of help provided by organizations such as the military and the police and they are also more concerned about protecting power than helping the public. So the public will have to face the effects of natural disasters severely.

#Credit : Radio NUG

#Credit : MoeMaKa

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