PSPD in English Int. Solidarity 2023-04-10   7063

[Open Letter] 413 Civil Society Call on Timor-Leste to Retract Invitation to Illegal ‘Myanmar Election Agency’

His Excellency
Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta
Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

7 April 2023

Dear Mr. President:

The undersigned 413 Myanmar, Timorese, regional and international civil society organizations strongly urge Your Excellency, along with the National Commission for Elections (CNE) President Dr. Jose Agostinho da Costa Belo Pereira, and the Network of Jurisdictional and Electoral Administration Bodies of Portuguese Speaking Countries (ROJAE-CPLP), to retract inviting the representatives of the so-called “Myanmar Election Agency” appointed by the illegal junta to your International Workshop on “Strengthening Democracy, Peace and Stability in State Building”, set to be held on May 19, 2023 in Dili.

These members of the Myanmar Election Agency, representing the brutal junta, have no credibility to talk about the subject of strengthening democracy, peace, and stability in state-building. After its attempted coup in February 2021, without a constitutional basis, the military junta invalidated the results of the democratically held November 2020 General Elections where the National League of Democracy (NLD) won in a massive landslide — a move that disregards the people’s will and runs contrary to the central tenets of democracy. Even then, after more than two years of the coup, the illegal junta controls only 17% of the country’s territory while the majority is controlled under the governance of the legitimate National Unity Government and Ethnic Revolutionary Organizations.

Since then, the illegitimate junta and their administrations have conducted nationwide attacks on civilians, eradicating the foundations of free media, civil society, the political party system, and academic freedom. As of March 2023, the junta and their enablers have killed over 3,000 people, arrested over 21,000 people. At least 1.4 million people have been internally displaced by the military’s violence, and at least 52,200 people forced to leave Myanmar, according to the UN Office of the High Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. We know that you are aware of this grave situation having bravely voiced your own protest against the coup during its early days.

As you wrote in your article published by the Newsweek on December 16, 2021, “the international community has the means to stand up to Myanmar’s military junta. Governments and international bodies should refuse to recognize the Tatmadaw regime or their representatives. They should expel representatives sent by the illegitimate military junta. They should continue to recognize and support diplomats appointed by Myanmar’s democratically elected government, including at the United Nations, thereby ensuring that the legitimate voices of democracy continue to be heard.”

Their actions and the scale of suffering they have created clearly demonstrate strong and consistent disdain to the values of democracy, peace, and stability in nation-building which the international workshop you will host aims to promote and achieve. Given this track record, they will not care about any platitudes on democracy and will return to Myanmar and continue their murderous ways. They even ignored the Five Point Consensus brokered by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the Cambodian Government’s Presidency. Thus, having representatives of the illegitimate junta will not only taint the goodwill which you aim to foster, it will also disregard the suffering of the peoples of Myanmar who are continuously working to resist the military towards the establishment of a federal democracy in their country. But more so, it could stigmatize Timor-Leste whose own robust and shining democracy has been a blazing light in this otherwise blighted region of tyrants and chameleons.

Aside from retracting the invitation for these Myanmar Election Agency representatives, we also respectfully call on the organizers of the International Workshop to instead extend an invitation to the representatives of the National Unity Government (NUG), who have been continuously working to establish federal democracy in Myanmar. As you very well know, the NUG has been active in rallying and engaging the international community to go against repressive actions by the junta. We urge your support, as an esteemed member of the international community and a champion of human rights and democracy, to support efforts to ensure accountability for the victims of the illegal junta and facilitate further humanitarian support for the peoples of Myanmar, especially its most vulnerable pro-democracy sectors.

We sincerely hope you heed our urgent plea.

For more information, please contact:

  • Khin Ohmar, Chairperson, Progressive Voice,
  • Ichal Supriadi, Secretary-General, Asian Democracy Network, Email:

Signed by 413 organizations including 222 organizations who have chosen to not disclose their names:

5/ of Zaya State Strike
Action Against Myanmar Military Coup (AAMMC)
Action Committee for Democracy Development (Coalition of 14 grassroots networks)
Action Committee of Basic Education Students (ACBES)
Active Youths Kalaymyo
Ah Nah Podcast – conversations with Myanmar
All Aung Myay Thar San Schools Strike Force
All Burma Student Democratic Front (ABSDF) – Australia Branch
All Young Burmese League (AYBL)
Alliance of Students’ Union – Yangon (ASU-Yangon)
Anti Dictatorship in Burma DC Metropolitan Area
Anti-coup Forces Coordination Committee (ACFCC -Mandalay)
Anti-Junta Alliance Yangon-AJAY
ASEAN Sogie Caucus
Asia Democracy Network (ADN)
Asia Justice and Rights – Timor-Leste (AJAR-Timor Leste)
Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL)
Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters
Association Suisse-Birmanie (ASB)
Athan – Freedom of Expression Activist Organization
Australian Karen Organisation (AKO)
A-Yar-Taw People Strike
Ayeyarwaddy West Development Organization (AWDO, Magway Region)
AYN Ayeyarwady Youth Network
Blood Money Campaign Myanmar
Boston Free Burma
Burma Action Ireland
Burma Campaign UK
Burma Canadian Network
Burma Lawyer Council (BLC)
Burma Support
Burmese Americans Democracy Alliance
Burmese Canadian Network
Burmese Chin Community of Atlanta
Burmese Community Development Collaboration (BCDC)
Burmese Community Support Group (BCSG)
Burmese Medical Association Australia (BMAA)
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
Burmese Women’s Union
CDM Medical Network (CDMMN)
CDM Support Group (Mae Sot)
Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), Sri Lanka
Chaung Oo Township Youth Strike Committee
Chin Human Rights Organization
Citizen Congress Watch (CCW), Taiwan
Civil Information Network (CIN)
Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH), Malaysia
Coalition Strike Committee – Dawei
Committee for Free and Fair Election (COMFREL), Cambodia
CRPH & NUG Supporters Ireland
CRPH Funding Ireland
CRPH Support Group, Norway
CRPH, NUG Support Team Germany – Deutschland
Dawei Youths Revolutionary Movement Strike Committee
Democracy for Ethnic Minorities Organization
Democracy, Peace and Women’s Organization
Depayin Township Revolution Steering Committee
Educational Initiatives Prague
Equality Myanmar
Ethnic Youth General Strike Committee (Mandalay)
Federal FM – Mandalay
Former ABSDF International
Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA)
Free Burma Action Committee – Central Valley
Free Burma Action Committee – Chico
Free Burma Action Committee – Northern California
Free Burma Action Committee – Sacremento
Free Burma Action Committee – San Francisco
Freedom and Labor Action Group (FLAG)
Future Light Center
Future Thanlwin
General Strike Collaboration Committee (GSCC)
General Strike Committee of Basic and Higher Education (GSCBHE)
Basic Education Worker Unions – Steering Committee (BEWU-SC)
Representative Committee of University Teacher Associations (RC of UTAs)
Basic Education General Strike Committee (BEGSC)
Generation Wave
German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy eV
Gimpo Myanmar Friends Korea
Global Myanmar Spring Revolution
Global Myanmar Spring Revolution (Japan)
Global Myanmar Spring Revolution (Korea)
Grass-root People
Help Myanmar
Helping Hands for Burma (H2B)
Human Rights Educators Network
Industrial Training Centre (ITC) Family Sydney
Info Birmanie
Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)
International Association, Myanmar – Switzerland (IAMS)
Justice For Myanmar
Kachin Association Australia (KAA)
Kachin Student Union
Kachin Women’s Association Thailand
Kalay Township Strike Force
Karen Association of Ireland
Karen community (The Netherland)
Karen Peace Support Network
Keng Tung Youth
Komite Independen Pemantau Pemilu (KIPP), Indonesia
Kyain Seikgyi Spring Revolution Leading Committee
Kyaukse University Students’ Union
La Communauté BIRMANE de France
Latpadaung Region Strike Committee
Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), Philippines
Let’s Help Each Other
LGBT Alliance
LGBT Union – Mandalay
Monywa LGBT Strike
LGBT Community Yangon
LGBT Alliance Myanmar (Kalay Region)
LGBT Alliance Myanmar (Kyaukse Region)
Magway People’s Revolution Committee
Mandalay Medical Family (MFM)
Mandalay Regional Youth Association (MRYA)
Mandalay Strike Force (MSF)
Samgha Sammaga-Mandalay
Mandalay Alliance Coalition Strike
Mya Taung Strike
Mandalar University Students’ Strike
Chanmyatharzi Township People’s Strike
Maharaungmyay Township People’s Strike
Mandalay Youth Strike
12 Basic Education Branch High School ( Maharaungmyay) Students’ Union
Co-operative University Mandalay Students’ Strike
Mandalay-based People’s Strike
Multi-Religions Strike
Myanmar Institute of Information Technology Students’ Strike
Daung Sitthe Strike
Seinpann Strike
Mandalay-Based University Students’ Unions (MDY_SUs)
Matu Chin Community – NSW/UPU Chin Association
MayMyo Strike Force
Metta Campaign Mandalay
Minbu Farmer Group
Mindat Chin Community NSW
Minhla Development Organization
Mon National Council (MNC)
Monywa People’s Strike Steering Committee
All Burma Federation of Student Unions (Monywa District)
Network of University Student Unions – Monywa
National League for Democracy (Monywa Township)
The 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (Monywa)
Thakhin Kodaw Mhine Peace Network (Monywa)
Former Political Prisoners and New Generation Group – Monywa
Civil Society Organizations Coordination Committee (Monywa)
Monywa-Amyint Road Strike Leading Committee
Myanmar Action Group Denmark
Myanmar Campaign Network
Myanmar Community Austria
Myanmar Community Coffs Harbour (MCC)
Myanmar Cultural Research Society
Myanmar Democratic Force in Denmark
Myanmar Labor Alliance (MLA)
Myanmar People Alliance (Shan State)
Myanmar Professionals Association Australia (MPAA)
Myaung Youth Network
Myingyan Civillian Movement Committee
Naphe Development Organization
National Election Observation Committee (NEOC), Nepal
Netherlands Myanmar Solidarity Platform
Network for Human Rights Documentation Burma
New Myanmar Foundation (NMF)
NLD Solidarity Association (NSW chapter)
NSW Karenni (Kayah) Communities
Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica
ODHIKAR, Bangladesh
Olive Organization
One Dollar for People of Burma
Open Forum for Democracy Foundation (P-NET), Thailand
Pale Township People’s Strike Steering Committee
People Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), Sri Lanka
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), South Korea
People’s Voter Education Network (JPPR), Indonesia
Perkumpulan untuk Pemilu dan Demokrasi (PERLUDEM), Indonesia
Progressive Voice
Pwintphyu Development Organization (Magway Region)
Pyi Gyi Tagon Strike Force
Save and Care Organization for Ethnic Women at Border Areas
Save Myanmar San Francisco
Save Myanmar USA
SEA Junction
Shwe Pan Kone People`s Strike Steering Committee
Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFENet)
Southern Dragon Myanmar
Southern Youth Development Organization
Suomi-Myanmar Association
Support Group for Democracy in Myanmar (The Netherland)
Sydney Friends For Myanmar
Synergy – Social Harmony Organization
Ta’ang Women’s Organization
Tanintharyi MATA
The Ladies
Transparent Elections Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA)
Twitter Team for Revolution (TTFR)
S. Campaign for Burma
University Students’ Unions Alumni Force
We Pledge CDM (Australia)
Wetlet Revolution Leading Committee
White Coat Society Yangon (WCSY)
Women Activists Myanmar
Women Alliance Burma (WAB)
Mandalay Women Strike
Yangon Women Strike
Monywa Women Strike
Monywa-Amyint Road Women Strike
Chindwin (West) Villages Women Strike
Kalay Women Strike
Depayin Women Strike
Taze Women Strike
Dawei (Ashaetaw) Women Strike
Gangaw Women Strike
hayat Chaung Women Strike
Wetlet Township Women Strike
Women Caucus for Politics, Timor-Leste
Women’s League of Burma
Yadanabon University Students’ Union (YDNBUSU)
Yinmarpin and Salingyi All Villages Strike Committee
Zomi Association Australia Inc.
ဒို့မြေကွန်ရက် – LIOH
နဂါးဖြူ (ထိုင်းနယ်စပ်)
နွေဉီးမီးငှက် (ထိုင်းမြန်မာ နယ်စပ်)
နွေဉီးအင်အား မိုးညိုမြို့နယ်
ဖင်လန်မြန်မာအသင်း (Finland Myanmar Society Ry)
ဧရာဗေဒါ (ပြည်တွင်း)

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