Dear allies of GSwMD,
we have good news and an update on the previous invitation of officials of the military regime to Brisbane: The Australian Government itself has intervened and made sure that the junta can not attend the meeting of EEAFP. The Australian Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, has personally taken action and shown than the new Australian Government is taken a new stance in support of the free people of Myanmar.
In her letter to the Representative of the National Unity Government (NUG) in Canberra she writes that the officials of her Department for Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and water “ensure that officers from the Myanmar Ministry will not come to Australia for the meeting”. (We can not share the whole letter, but please find excerpts attached in agreement the NUG representative).
This is a great political victory! GSwMD is happy to support groups of the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) outside of Europe in a first cross-continental cooperation. Congratulations to the CRPH/NUG Support Group Queensland, the NUG representative in Australia and the people of Myanmar.
Professor Martine Maron (President of Bird Life Australia)
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science
University of Queensland
East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP)
Solidarity in protest against the invitation to representatives of Myanmar’s military council for the 11th Meeting of Partners (MOP11) of EAAFP in Brisbane from 12th to 17th March 2023
Dear Professor Martine Maron, dear members of EAAFP,
I am writing you on behalf of an in solidarity with the CRPH/NUG Support Group (QLD) and Patrick Cho in reference to their letter to you from 19th February 2023.
We, the association “German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy e. V.”, are a group of people who mainly live in Germany and Europe and support a free, democratic and inclusive Myanmar. Many of us have lived in Myanmar for years and worked in development cooperation, business or the cultural scene. We support the civilian resistance in Myanmar and we believe that the military regime must be isolated.
Since the coup, we have advocated for support of the democratic government in exile of Myanmar. We also encourage institutions in Europe and Germany not to legitimize the brutal military junta. Just recently, we raised awareness about a meeting of the ASEAN committee in Berlin, where several members of parliament met with a junta official. We raised awareness, writing an open letter and shared it on social media. The result was a loss of face for the participating members of parliament, several have since apologised. Similarly, we will observe and report any similar events here in Europe or in Australia in cooperation with our allies and friends.
By meeting the regime’s representatives, you are giving them an opportunity to use the event and resulting photos and documents for their propaganda machine. You are also diametrically opposing Australia’s foreign policy, which has recently imposed targeted sanctions against the very same regime and its members. The Minister for Foreign Affairs states: “The military regime has responded violently to any form of political expression, including peaceful protests. There is evidence thousands of civilians, including children, have been jailed, tortured, or killed.” Meeting those officials may increase their legitimacy and therefore you may become complicit with an internationally shunned regime which disregards human rights and which is investigated for genocide. It will also tarnish the reputation of EAAFP, the faculty of science and the University of Queensland in general.
We therefore urge you to stand on the right side of history: Do not cooperate, host and invite any military officials from Myanmar in any form. Listen to the demands of the CRPH/NUG Support Group, which will reflect the voices and wishes of the Democratic diaspora community in Australia and the people in Myanmar. Do the right thing which will show your commitment to transparency, democracy, solidarity and ethical conduct of academic research; meet with Mr. Cho and students from your own University and listen to their arguments.
Please let us know if you have further questions.
on behalf of German Solidarity with Myanmar Democracy e.V. (GSwMD),