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POST TIME: 19 May, 2021 11:25:50 PM
Myanmar: Another Syria?
Md. Tareq Hasan

Myanmar: Another Syria?

The mass protests in Myanmar over the past three months have been largely political. In the course of time, it is slowly taking the form of military civil war. The Myanmar army did not forget to do to its country's protesters what was originally done to enemy troops on a battlefield. More than seven hundred and fifty protesters were killed during this time. Even though they are citizens of the same country, they are instructed to shoot them in the head, which is really shocking. Just as pro-democracy prisoners have been treated like prisoners of war, victims have had to pay to take the bodies of their family members.

The protests that have been going on for the last one month are now taking an armed form. Naturally the procession is decreasing a lot but the incidents like bomb blasts are increasing. Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar, seems to have been the epicenter of such bombings. On the other hand, 10 rebel groups in Myanmar have called for the ouster of the dictators against the peace agreement implemented during the schedule.

It is worth mentioning that the Karen people, known as one of the people of Myanmar, are also increasing their attacks on the Myanmar army. Then, a few days after the Karen people, armed rebels from the Chin ethnic group, known as a relatively peaceful province, also occupied an army base in Chin province. The death toll in each of these sporadic incidents was not small. The army is also increasing its ground and air strikes.

At a special meeting last week, the UN special envoy for Myanmar warned the Security Council in particular to end the ongoing civil war and bloodshed. Observing the immediate aftermath of the war, India's Adani Group has signaled its withdrawal from the special economic zone project with Myanmar if it falls significantly under US and UN sanctions.

At the recent G-7 meeting in London, the British Foreign Secretary also spoke highly of the need to intervene, considering the special ban on arms purchases and the humanitarian aspect. The G-7 declaration also called for an overall blockade and sanctions against the military.

aturally, the internationally recognized and used term for this humanitarian intervention is to refer to RP-2 or Right to Protect. Generally, the military intervention that is implemented as a key to protecting the people of any other country is legitimized through RP-2. Just as it was done earlier under President Bill Clinton in the Balkan wars as it was seen to be used during the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan also. This argument was even used in Syria. So far, more than 200 non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world have issued statements calling for direct UN intervention against the ongoing situation in Myanmar.

Observing the situation, it is seen that it is proceeding directly like the events in Syria. Earlier in 2011, the civil war in Syria began with a similar 'Arab Spring' mass protests. Then, after stopping and suppressing the protests, the armed campaign of the rebel group naturally started. The United States-Britain-France vs. Russia-Iran vs. Turkey Tripartite politics respectively turned the country Syria as a playground of geopolitics.

The protests in Myanmar, which began last February, point to a three-month-long armed uprising in Syria. The fact is that Russia and Iran were the main culprits behind the Assad regime in Syria, and China alone seems to be enough for Myanmar's military junta.

It is safe to assume that the G-7 meeting gave some recognition to Myanmar's anti-junta national unity government. The government, made up of anti-military protesters, has already announced that it is going to form a federal union army. On the other hand, rebel groups are urging members of their respective nations serving in Myanmar's central army and other defense forces to turn their guns on the junta government. All in all, the situation is exactly like the situation in the Syrian civil war.

The military-led nation-building project in Myanmar, which promises to unite the country, has failed miserably. Instead of uniting the country, they have further divided it. The rebel group, which has gone through a struggle in the opposite direction, has already formed an extraordinary unity. Burmese and Buddhists who once marginalized people of other races and religions.

Unusually, it is true that this is the first time that the Rohingya Muslims of Arakan and the Rakhine Buddhists, the Burmese Buddhists of the larger nation, have developed such solidarity and sympathy with the Christians of Shin and Karen provinces. Meanwhile, it is a source of much relief that it has been possible to form an alliance like Northern alliance with the formation of the Arakan Army, the Kachin Independence Army, the Ta'ang National Liberation Army, and the military alliance of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance.

Neighboring countries like Syria have not yet been directly involved in the conflict in Myanmar. India, China and Russia have so far failed to persuade the junta to speak out against the government. Naturally, they have a long border with Myanmar. People of the same race and group live on the border of the two countries. This is especially true in Thailand. In both these countries, just as the refugees from Myanmar are fleeing, so are the Rohingyas fleeing to Bangladesh.

K Bhadrakumar, a security analyst at the Asia Times, said they needed the co-operation and support of India and Thailand to implement the way the British intelligence agency MI-6 and the CIA were inciting rebel groups to take advantage of the current situation. Although Thailand was the second closest center to the United States during the Vietnam War, Thailand is now one of China's allies. Although it is not possible for India to do everything alone, the activities of the 'Quad' together with the United States, Australia, Japan and India are very visible.

Recognizing Myanmar's national unity government as an expatriate government would make it easier to determine whether Western nations are active in the mission to continue the civil war. It will be a dilemma for any human being in general. It is clear that if Myanmar's military junta government is not stopped now, it will be impossible to deal with large-scale war, unrest and chaos in the future. On the other hand, any Western policy or intervention against Myanmar means the beginning of a shadow war against China.

It is difficult to say in advance which side will win this shadow war, but it is impossible to say in advance what an unstable environment will be created in the world. Although foreign intervention is high, a certain section of the Burmese could be pushed into the pro-military camp by marking patriotism, as was done before in the Syrian war. What is particularly worrying for Bangladesh is that who will guarantee that in the near future the heat of the long-running civil war that has been kindled on one of the borders of the country will not reach the villages of Bangladesh ???

Postgraduate student University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh

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