Deccan Chronicle

Ousted MPs of Myanmar form shadow government

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Yangon, 16: A “parliament” working in hiding to oust Myanmar’s junta from power announced a new shadow government on Friday, with deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi at its helm alongside ethnic minority politician­s.

The country has been in turmoil since the military detained Suu Kyi and seized power, triggering a massive uprising that the junta has sought to quell with lethal force.

Besides demanding a return to democracy, protesters are also increasing­ly calling for more of a governing role for the country’s minority groups — which have long seen their voices marginalis­ed by the ethnic Bamar majority.

The Committee Representi­ng Pyida ungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) — a group of lawmakers mostly from Suu Kyi’s party attempting to govern undergroun­d via a shadow parliament — on Friday announced its leaders.

Helming the so-called “National Unity Government” is Suu Kyi, in her position as state counsellor, and President Win Myint. Both are under house arrest and facing a barrage of charges from the junta.

They are flanked by a vice president who is ethnic Kachin and a prime minister who is ethnic Karen, said Min Ko Naing, a prominent democracy leader, in an address on the CRPH’s official Facebook page.

“We have organised a government which has the largest number of ethnic minority groups,” he said.

While Myanmar has more than 130 official ethnic minority groups, the country’s political fate has long been tightly controlled by the Bamar majority — first under a nearly five-decade junta regime which forced a socalled “Bamarisati­on” on minorities; and then under Suu Kyi’s administra­tion.

Besides ethnic Karen and Kachin leaders, the CRPH’s list of appointed ministers also included prominent politician­s from the Chin, Shanni, Mon, Karenni and Ta’ang minority groups.

They were chosen based on results from the 2020 election, input from a nationwide anticoup protest movement, and ethnic minority groups — including armed rebels in the country’s border territorie­s, said Min Ko Naing. “We have to pull it from the root... we must try to eradicate it,” he said, referring to the junta as he raised a three-finger salute — the symbol of resistance. —

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