The Sunday Telegraph
Johnson urged to recognise civilians’ exile government
MYANMAR’S civilian government-in-exile has called on Boris Johnson to lead the world by formally recognising its right to rule the crisis-torn south-east Asian nation following a military coup.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Salai Maung Taing San, the government’s minister for international cooperation, said the UK had a responsibility to lead efforts to end the suffering of its former colony after the military ousted a democratically elected government and seized power in February.
“We need this formal recognition as the sole legitimate representative of the people of Myanmar. The more they hesitate to do so, we are deeply concerned that this military junta will find a way to normalise the killing,” said the doctorturned-politician, who goes by Dr Sasa.
Myanmar is on the verge of civil war and economic collapse under a military junta that has waged a brutal crackdown on protesting civilians – killing almost 900, including more than 70 children, and arresting close to 6,000.
Meanwhile, China has been accused of accepting the regime’s legitimacy.
After a meeting with junta envoy Wunna Maung Lwin, Beijing referred to him as “Myanmar’s foreign minister”.
Myanmar is also facing a humanitarian disaster. This week, Tom Andrews, the UN special envoy for human rights in Myanmar, warned of “mass deaths” from starvation and disease among some 100,000 displaced by military airstrikes in ethnic minority border regions.
The shadow National Unity Government was formed in April by ousted parliamentarians, members of ethnic minority groups and figures in the anticoup protest movement. But while it has engaged with the United Nations and multiple governments including the UK and US, it has only been offered moral rather than formal political support.
Dr Sasa said: “Britain has a historical responsibility to help us restore democracy. We are asking Britain to lead on the international stage and bring an alliance together – at least to coordinate with the US, European Union, Australia, Canada and all like-minded countries to provide us with political support.”